The Dispatch Podcast

By The Dispatch

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 Sep 20, 2022

 Jan 17, 2022

 Jul 4, 2021
refreshingly unpartisan examination of politics with a conservative slant.

 Jun 9, 2020
Factual discussions with competent conservatives.

 Apr 30, 2020


Host Sarah Isgur is joined by Steve Hayes, Jonah Goldberg, and David French for a weekly thoughtful discussion on politics, policy, and culture.

Episode Date
Who Blew Up Nord Stream?

As the editors of The Morning Dispatch eloquently put it, Nord Stream went boom. But who’s responsible? Sarah, David, and Jonah leave no conspiracy theory unexamined. Turning to the midterms, they discuss the power of low expectations, ask when spending money stops being useful, and wonder what it takes to be a good leader (or at least a good politician) during natural disasters. Also: the trio displays heroic restraint in today’s Not Worth Your Time, as they refrain entirely from making any kind of double entendre.

Show Notes:

-Tucker Carlson, literally wall-to-wall on Russian TV

-Lizzo playing James Madison’s flute

Sep 30, 2022
The Future of the Electoral Count Act

Understanding The Electoral Count Act, as it’s currently worded, requires a team of legal experts. So we got one! Sarah is joined by John Fortier, senior fellow at AEI, and Matthew Seligman, fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. Together they try to make sense of the law’s history, explain the difference between the two reform bills coming up through the House and the Senate, and debate whether either one goes far enough to prevent a constitutional crisis in 2024.

Show Notes:

-Matthew in support of the Senate bill

-What the Vice President can’t do

-John’s guide to the electoral college

-Matthew’s 2024 risk assessment

Sep 30, 2022
Putin Makes Nuclear Threats

What happens when Vladimir Putin starts feeling cornered? Sarah, David, Steve, and Jonah react to Russia announcing military mobilization and think through the implications of Putin’s nuclear chest-thumping. They then turn to the politics of immigration (still very bad), and conclude with some rank punditry: is the Democrats’ momentary surge in the polls already bust?

Out of context: “To me, it’s a little like the fight: Hiter-Stalin – who is worse?”

Show Notes:

-NBC poll showing decline in GOP loyalty to Trump

-Politico: using cartoons as political ads

Sep 23, 2022
Lindsey Graham's New-Old Abortion Ban

At long last in the same room, Sarah, Steve, David, and Jonah debate whether the conversation around abortion is changing, why it doesn't feel like Republicans are out of power, and whether lawmakers will ever do the right thing on border security. Plus: Sarah offers a troubling glimpse of the gents' problematic footwear.

Sep 17, 2022
Mar-a-Lago Documents Investigation Explained

The rapid developments in the Justice Department’s investigation of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago may be hard to follow, but not to worry, Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and Declan are here to clarify and discuss. Plus: a look at the long-term impact of COVID-19, and the internal battles as both parties look to the midterms.


Show Notes:

-TMD: How Sarah Palin Lost Alaska’s House Special Election

-The Dispatch: Trump Is Hurting the GOP’s Midterm Prospects

Sep 09, 2022
Justice Department Turns Up the Heat

This week saw the Justice Department disclose new evidence that the former president and his legal team likely sought to conceal classified documents from investigators. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and Declan are here to discuss. Plus: Alaska says no to Sarah Palin, and how should we view Mikhail Gorbachev’s legacy?


Show Notes:

-TMD: Trump Team Likely Sought to Conceal Classified Documents From Investigators, DOJ Says

-The Sweep: How Will Abortion Play in the Midterms?

-G-File: Grading Gorby on a Curve

Sep 02, 2022
Mark Leibovich Talks Thank You for Your Servitude

Steve is joined by Mark Leibovich to discuss his new book Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission. How did the Republican Party get to its present predicament? Leibovich gives us his eyewitness account of how the former president transformed Washington, and a major American political party.


Show Notes:

-Thank You for Your Servitude by Mark Leibovich

-Leibovich’s page at The Atlantic

Sep 01, 2022
Biden Makes a Move on Student Loan Debt

President Joe Biden announced a plan to provide tens of millions of Americans with student loan debt relief. The fallout was swift. Our hosts are here with their reactions. Plus:  Jonah, David, and Declan discuss the results of this week’s primary elections.


Show Notes:

-TMD: Biden’s Base Gets a Student Loan Gift

-The Dispatch: The GOP Is Shrink-Wrapping Itself Around Trump

-The Dispatch: Tim Ryan Keeping the Pressure on J.D. Vance in Ohio

Aug 26, 2022
What’s With These GOP Senate Candidates?

This week's Dispatch Live, which is a weekly live stream for Dispatch members only, ran into some issues because Substack was completely down on Tuesday. So, because most members did not get to hear it we are offering it in its entirety as The Dispatch Podcast. If you're not a member of The Dispatch and liked what you heard here, click the link below to join so you can tune into Dispatch Live weekly on Tuesdays at 8pm ET.

In this episode, David, Declan, Andrew, and Audrey discuss the Senate GOP candidates for the midterm elections, the latest in the Mar-a-Lago search, and the chances of DeSantis 2024.


Show Notes:

- Join The Dispatch Community

Aug 25, 2022
Liz Cheney Defeated in Wyoming, Ukraine Fights On

Rep. Liz Cheney lost her re-election bid to her Trump-backed primary challenger in the Wyoming Republican primary on Tuesday. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the result, and share their thoughts as the primary season wraps up. Plus: What’s the latest from Ukraine? Our hosts discuss the state of the conflict.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: Liz Cheney: ‘There Is Actually Precedent for ... Vice Presidents to Testify’

-The Dispatch: Choosing to Lose

-The Sweep: Warning Signs for the GOP’s Senate Hopes

Aug 19, 2022
The Inflation Reduction Act, a Libertarian Nightmare

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. Scott Lincicome, director of general economics at the Cato Institute, joins Declan to help us better understand the legislation. What’s actually in the law? How questionable is the budget math?


Show Notes:

-Uphill: Breaking Down the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

-Read Declan in The Morning Dispatch

-Read Scott in Capitolism

Aug 18, 2022
FBI Searches Mar-a-Lago, Trump Takes the Fifth

It was a busy week for the former president, the FBI searched his home at Mar-a-Lago, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a New York deposition, and Attorney General Merrick Garland moved to make public the legal authorization for the FBI’s search. Sarah, Jonah, and David are here to discuss the fallout. Plus: Our hosts have new inflation numbers, and primary results to chew on.


Show Notes:

-TMD: The FBI Raids Trump’s Home

-French Press: Thinking Through the Trump Search

-G-File: Yearning for a Banana Republic

-Stirewaltisms: Of Presidents and Precedents

-The Dispatch: A Tale of Two GOP Responses to the Trump Search

-TMD: A Hint of Inflation Relief

-The Dispatch: Trump-Endorsed Tim Michels Prevails in Wisconsin Gubernatorial Primary

Aug 12, 2022
FBI Raids Mar-a-Lago: What Does it Mean?

Sarah and David get together for this special Advisory Opinions crossover episode to discuss the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago on Monday. What does it all mean? How does a federal investigation of a senior official work, and what happens next? Plus: some possible theories and explanations that might shed some light on the events of yesterday.


Show Notes:

-TMD: The FBI Raids Trump’s Home

-Andy McCarthy in National Review: ​​The FBI’s Mar-a-Lago ‘Raid’: It’s about the Capitol Riot, Not the Mishandling of Classified Information

-Marc Elias Twitter thread

Aug 09, 2022
Fallout of Kansas Rejecting Abortion Amendment

Sarah, David, Steve and Jonah are back for an action-packed show today including the primary elections, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, and the demise of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri on Sunday. Will tensions over abortion issues cause bigger voter turnouts in the future? Plus: The Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve Sweden and Finland for acceptance into NATO on Wednesday with a lone dissent from Sen. Josh Hawley.


Show Notes:

-The Sweep: What We Learned

-TMD: Another Blockbuster Primaries Tuesday

-The Current: Killing Zawahiri: How the CIA Hunts Monsters

-TMD: Tensions Flare in the Taiwan Strait

Aug 05, 2022
David Axelrod Previews the Midterms, 2024

David Axelrod, chief strategist for former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and host of The Axe Files and co-host of Hacks on Tap podcasts, joins Steve to tackle the complex questions about the midterm primary elections this week. What’s up with the Democrat Party’s tactic of funding extremist Republican candidates? And what is the outlook for the upcoming general elections? Plus: Axelrod gives listeners the big picture of what’s happening in Kansas as well as what the abortion rights issue means to both sides of the political aisle.


Show Notes:

-The Axe Files with David Axelrod

-TMD: Another Blockbuster Primaries Tuesday

-The Dispatch: Peter Meijer Falls to Trump-Endorsed John Gibbs in Michigan

-The Dispatch: Eric Schmitt Wins the Missouri GOP Senate Primary

-The Sweep: What We Learned

Aug 04, 2022
Economy Contracts, Manchin Makes a Deal

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David are back to discuss big pieces of legislation coming down the pipeline. Will the Inflation Reduction Act find footing in the House? The White House’s stretched definition of a recession is digging the administration into a deeper hole of messaging problems. Plus, Is President Biden gunning for another term in 2024, and are ordinary Democrats distancing themselves from his leadership?


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: Who Decides What a Recession Is?

-G-File: Merrick Garland’s Playing It Right

-The Current: The CHIPS Act: Far From Perfect, but Still Very Good

-The Dispatch: Dem Campaign Chiefs Tell Different Stories on GOP Primary Meddling

Jul 29, 2022
Mo Elleithee Talks New Battleground Poll

Mo Elleithee, founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, joins Sarah to talk about the complexities of politics. Results from a new Battleground Poll are in, and it’s clear that most Americans believe that the state of our politics is “really bad.” What happened and what can we do to fix it? Also on the agenda: Alaska’s interesting nonpartisan primary system, and the Democratic National Committee’s recent decision to make states bid for early waivers.


Show Notes:

-Georgetown Institute of Politics & Public Service Battleground Civility Poll

Jul 28, 2022
January 6 Panel Details Trump's Inaction

Sarah and David are joined by The Morning Dispatch editors Declan Garvey and Esther Eaton to discuss the vivid testimonies during Thursday night’s January 6 committee hearing. Also on the agenda: In the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Republicans are wary of giving Democrats a win with a contraception bill currently on the Senate floor, and a same-sex marriage bill faces an unclear way forward after Tuesday’s House vote.


Show Notes:

-TMD: The January 6 Committee Presses the Secret Service

-TMD: Donald Trump’s Inaction on January 6

-The Dispatch: A Timeline of What Trump Did—and Didn’t Do—on January 6

Jul 22, 2022
James Webb Takes Us Back in Time

Images from the James Webb Space Telescope have taken the internet by storm, and Declan is here with two guests who worked on it for a fascinating conversation about its long journey into reality. Dr. John Mather, a Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the senior project scientist for the JWST, and Dr. Scott Acton, a physicist at Ball Aerospace and JWST’s Wavefront Sensing and Controls scientist, relay their exploits in achieving the most incredible and ambitious space images ever taken of thousands of galaxies, black holes, and dust clouds. And we have to ask: Are we alone in the universe, really?


Show Notes:

-First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope

-Dr. John Mather

-TMD: This Is Something That’s Going to ‘Change Our Understanding of the Universe’

Jul 21, 2022
Inflation Surges to 40-Year High

Sarah, David, and Jonah reflect on the problem of inflation, which surged to 9.1 percent this week and look ahead to the presidential race in 2024. Will there be a showdown between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination? Our hosts wrap up with a discussion of shifting coalitions within the political parties.


Show Notes:

-TMD: June’s Very Bad, No Good Inflation Report

-New York Times: Most Democrats Don’t Want Biden in 2024, New Poll Shows

-Axios: The great realignment

-The Dispatch: How Joe Biden Set Himself Up for Failure

-Pew Research Center: Religiously, nonwhite Democrats are more similar to Republicans than to white Democrats

-First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope

Jul 15, 2022
Robert O'Brien Talks Global Threats

Robert O’Brien, former U.S. ambassador and national security advisor to President Donald Trump, joins Klon Kitchen for a discussion of international politics from a bird’s-eye view. They discuss his time working for the former president, and the job of national security advisor. Plus: How can the United States protect itself from Chinese economic espionage? China’s threat to Taiwan? And what is the future of the war in Ukraine?


Show Notes:

-Uphill: The Showdown Over the China Competition Bill

-The Current: Ban TikTok Now

-The Current: Getting Smart on Intelligence

Jul 13, 2022
The Tragedy in Highland Park

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss two major events from the last week, including the chaos across the pond with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation on Thursday morning. Near Chicago, at least seven are dead and dozens injured after the July Fourth shooting at Highland Park, prompting questions about whether red flag laws really work. An update on Ukraine is also in order, as well as 2022 midterm implications for the House of Representatives and the Senate.


Show Notes:

-TMD: Boris Johnson to Resign

-Stirewaltisms: Boris Johnson and the Survival of the Silliest

-TMD: Tragedy in Highland Park

-Harvard Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll on Roe v. Wade

Jul 08, 2022
Goodbye Red Brick Road

Tim Miller, writer-at-large at The Bulwark, joins Steve to talk about his new book: Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. Miller gives listeners a breakdown of the Washington, D.C. political culture and how it’s not what you might think. Plus: the book sparks a lively debate about the divides within the Republican Party, and whether there’s a way forward in the midst of the murk. Is there a place for center-right journalism to thrive?


Show Notes:

-Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell

Jul 06, 2022
Grappling with a Post-Roe America

Jonah and Chris Stirewalt join Sarah to talk about the political aftermath of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization as states begin to grapple legislatively with the post-Roe era. Will we reach a consensus on what life means in the womb? Our hosts also discuss the nature of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony during the surprise January 6 select committee hearing and the risks with the Democrats’ 2022 election strategy.


Show Notes:

-TMD: Surprise Witness Blows January 6 Investigation Right Open

-The Dispatch: Donald Trump’s Fractured Inner Circle

-The G-File: Democrats Have a Funny Way of Expressing Concern About ‘Our Democracy’

Jul 01, 2022
How the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Became Law

This is the audio version of the story documenting the creation and passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The story is based on more than 21 hours of interviews with more than two dozen people involved, including lawmakers, staff, and human rights advocates.


Show Notes:

-PDF: How the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Became Law

-Introduction and Part 1

-Parts 2 and 3

-Parts 4 and 5

-Parts 6 and 7

-Parts 8 and 9

Jun 27, 2022
Biden Pushes for Gas Tax Holiday

Sarah, Steve, and Jonah dive into a delightful political potpourri, tackling everything from the Biden administration’s possible gas tax holiday to immigration and the Georgia congressional runoffs. They also discuss the House Select Committee’s January 6 hearing on Tuesday, which produced some interesting testimonies.


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Biden’s Mixed Messages on Oil”

-Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal: “Biden Got the Energy Market He Wanted”

-Capitolism: “Fueling Uncertainty”

-TMD: “How Trump and His Aides Pressured State Officials”

Jun 24, 2022
How Gas Prices Got So High

Remember when filling up your gas tank didn’t cost the same amount as your weekly grocery bill? Leslie Beyer, CEO of the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, and Skanda Amarnath, the Executive Director at Employ America, join Declan to discuss the oil and gas supply issues America faces. The Biden administration’s current approach to the sector doesn’t inspire much confidence prices will come down any time soon, but there are levers policymakers could pull to ease the pain at the pump.


Show Notes:

-Capitolism: “Fueling Uncertainty”

-Employ America Research Report

Jun 23, 2022
Takeaways From Elections in South Carolina and Texas

It’s been another week of interesting primary elections, and Sarah, David, Jonah, and Andrew discuss what we learned from Texas and South Carolina. Then our hosts dive into the details of the framework for a possible Senate gun bill and whether the House will learn to settle for compromise, not perfection. Finally, what are the key takeaways from the January 6 House Select Committee so far?


Show Notes:

-The Sweep: The Value of a Trump Endorsement

-The Dispatch: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the January 6 Committee

-The Sweep: The Politics of the January 6 Hearings

-Uphill: The Way Forward for the Senate’s Gun Violence Bill

-The Dispatch: Can We Make Red Flag Laws Work?

Jun 17, 2022
Crimes of the Present

Thiru Vignarajah, former deputy attorney general of Maryland, joins Sarah to talk about all things Baltimore: violent crime, reforming police practices, and the Baltimore City state’s attorney race. Plus: What might help bring down gun violence in major cities?


Show Notes:

-French Press: Against Gun Idolatry

-The Dispatch: Can We Make Red Flag Laws Work?

Jun 15, 2022
January 6 Committee Makes Its Case

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol held its first hearing Thursday night. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss its fact-based and substantive approach to investigating what happened at the Capitol riots, and whether the Republican Party will hold former President Donald Trump accountable. Then our panel turns to the question of political violence in America: Is our political rhetoric out of control? Our hosts then cover how the California primaries are off to an interesting start with progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s recall on Tuesday.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “Primetime Hearing Focuses on the Plan Behind January 6”

-TMD: “January 6 Revisited”

-Uphill: “January 6 Through the Images and Words of Those Who Lived It”

-The Dispatch: “What Chesa Boudin’s Recall Says About Criminal Justice Reform”

-The Atlantic: “How San Francisco Became a Failed City”

Jun 10, 2022
Chuck Todd Previews Midterms, January 6 Hearings

Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, joins Steve to discuss the public’s eroding trust in politicians and the political system. An alarming Pew Research poll turns the conversation to how context and nuance have been lost in political journalism and campaign coverage. Steve and Todd also cover the Trump divide within the Republican Party, what the January 6 Committee might tell us this week, and, of course, whether the Green Bay Packers will make the Super Bowl next season.


Show Notes:

-Pew Research: “Americans’ Views of Government”

-The Sweep: “Why Issues Don’t Change Votes”

Jun 08, 2022
100 Days of War in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started almost 100 days ago. Our hosts are here to discuss the latest from the war and America’s role. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David then turn to the gun debate at home: Will mass shootings in recent weeks produce different political results than past tragedies? Finally they preview next week’s January 6 hearings on Capitol Hill.


Show Notes:

-French Press: “The Tide Is Turning Toward Russia”

-The Dispatch: “​​A Marshall Plan for Ukraine?”

-TMD: “100 Days of War in Ukraine”

-New York Times: “Voters Say They Want Gun Control. Their Votes Say Something Different.”

-New York Times: “A Timeline of Failed Attempts to Address U.S. Gun Violence”

-RAND: “​​How Gun Policies Affect Mass Shootings”

-RAND: “Facts About the Effects of Gun Policies Are Elusive but Important”

-The Reload: “NRA Revenue Dropped $47 Million in 2021, Down $130 Million From Just 3 Years Prior”

-San Diego Zoo Condor Cam

Jun 03, 2022
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Primaries?

Edward B. Foley, professor and director of the election law program at Ohio State, and Nick Troiano, executive director of Unite America, join Sarah for a conversation about reforming primaries. What does primary reform look like? Their conversation covers political science, history, and math. That’s right math. Can math save democracy?


Show Notes:

-Requiring Majority Winners for Congressional Elections

-Foley in the Washington Post: “How our system of primary elections could destroy democracy”

-The Sweep: “A Focus on the Problem with Primaries”

-Unite America: “America Has a Primary Problem”

Jun 01, 2022
The Tragedy in Uvalde

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Our hosts are here to discuss the latest updates and what comes next. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David then turn to this week’s round of primaries. What did they learn? They finish by discussing the latest from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. What does Russia’s Black Sea blockade mean for the world?


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “After Uvalde, What Now?”

-Uphill: “Mass Shootings Reignite Gun Control Debate in Washington”

-French Press: “Pass and Enforce Red Flag Laws. Now.”

-The Sweep: “A Focus on the Problem with Primaries”

-TMD: “A Big Night for GOP Incumbents”

-The Dispatch: “Georgia Republicans Stick With Kemp by a Wide Margin”

May 27, 2022
Revenge of the Incumbents in Georgia

Erick Erickson, host of the Erick Erickson Show, joins Steve for a conversation about what we learned from the primary election results in Georgia, and what it all means for November and beyond. Steve is then joined by Khaya Himmelman to discuss her fact check of Dinesh D’Souza’s new documentary film 2,000 Mules.


Show Notes:

-Erick Erickson: “Trump's 2000 Mules Got Stuck in Georgia Clay”

-Erick Erickson: “The Democrats Don't Want a Solution to Gun Violence”

-Khaya’s fact check: “Fact Checking Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘2,000 Mules’”

May 25, 2022
The Tragedy in Buffalo

Following a man’s racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, in which he killed 10 people and wounded three more, our hosts are here to discuss what it means for our politics and culture. Sarah, Jonah, and Declan then discuss the baby formula shortage. How did the Biden administration drop the ball? And finally, reactions to the latest round of primaries around the country.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “A Look at the State of Red Flag Laws After Buffalo”

-TMD: “Grappling With the Buffalo Mass Shooting”

-Capitolism: “America’s Infant Formula Crisis and the ‘Resiliency’ Mirage”

-The Sweep: “Headed Toward a Recount in Pennsylvania”

May 20, 2022
Mark Esper on ‘A Sacred Oath’

Joining this week’s Dispatch Podcast with Sarah is former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Esper was also secretary of the Army during the Trump administration, and in his new book, A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times, he talks about the challenges that came with working under President Trump. In the podcast, Esper and Sarah discuss life on the inside of the administration, Esper’s infamous “Four Nos,” and what he sees as the greatest threat to the United States today. Hint, his fears are more about things happening inside the country, not outside. 


Show Notes:

-A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times

-Esper Paints Chaotic Picture of Trump Administration’s Middle East Policy, by Charlotte Lawson

May 18, 2022
The Inflation Game

The economic state of America, which technically may be improving according to the latest inflation numbers, is still not good. The gang (with deputy managing editor Michael Scott Reneau stepping in for Steve) discuss it and home in on why that’s bad news for Democrats. Plus, Tim Alberta of The Atlantic just wrote a profile of evangelical churches in America and it is so good Sarah, David, Jonah, and Michael had to talk about it and the state of evangelicalism on today’s episode. And finally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a vote on abortion access in America which failed miserably. What the heck was he thinking? Finally, what is the legacy of John Brown?


Show Notes:

-TMD on the latest inflation numbers and baby formula shortage

-Tim Alberta on the evangelical church

-Politico: Senate Democrats’ imaginary majority

May 13, 2022
Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns on ‘This Will Not Pass’

There is no shortage of stuff to talk about in This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future, the new book by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, and Steve does his best to discuss all of it in this week’s Dispatch Podcast. As Steve says, “The book makes you feel like you are in the room.” The trio breaks it all down—from January 6, those now infamous Kevin McCarthy recordings, and the early days of the Biden administration. Burns and Martin respond to McCarthy’s accusation that they took his comments “out of context.” Plus, why does Biden want to “do it all?” Finally, how do the authors deal with critics on the right that immediately write them off because they work for The New York Times?


Show Notes:

-This Will Not Pass by Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns

-Recordings of McCarthy saying he will urge President Trump to resign

May 11, 2022
Supreme Court, Abortion, and the Political Fallout
May 06, 2022
Mitt Romney Talks Inflation and the Economy

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney joins Steve for a discussion on the state of the economy and how to rein in inflation. Plus, the senator answers questions about canceling student debt, the Supreme Court abortion leak, J.D. Vance’s victory in Ohio, and the latest from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Show Notes:

-Romney in the Wall Street Journal: “Biden’s Errors Worsen Inflation”

-Capitolism: “Is President Biden Trying to Boost Inflation?”

-TMD: “Washington Gears Up for a Post-Roe Future”

-The Dispatch: “Non-Interventionist Republicans: A Small, Vocal Minority”

May 04, 2022
Is This The ‘70s All Over Again?

Most economic numbers paint a dire picture for Democrats in the upcoming midterms. Steve, Jonah, and David discuss who is exactly to blame for that. Then the trio wade into the debate over forgiving student loans. (Spoiler alert: They aren’t fans.) Will the woes in the Democratic Party produce a Ronald Reagan-type figure on the right? Plus, what is everyone’s opinion of the White House Correspondents Dinner?

Show Notes: 

Apr 29, 2022
California's Fiscal Future

Lanhee Chen is running for state controller in California, but what does a state controller do? Steve gets that answer, plus Chen’s thoughts on California’s fiscal state and his plan if he wins the election. Chen also discusses his experience running Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign’s policy shop.


Show Notes:

-Chen’s campaign website

-Los Angeles Times endorses Chen’s campaign

Apr 27, 2022
Mask Mandates and McCarthy's Lie

It was a busy week. The Justice Department is appealing a federal judge’s decision to strike down the CDC’s travel mask mandate. The Biden administration is standing by its plan to end Title 42, a pandemic-era border policy, despite pushback from Democrats. Texas and Florida have governors making their own questionable decisions. Netflix and CNN feel the full effects of the streaming wars. Plus, what did Kevin McCarthy say?


Show Notes:

-David and Sarah’s deep dive into the mask mandate decision

-Sarah’s immigration conversation with Ali Noorani

-Uphill: “Kevin McCarthy’s January 6 Lie”

Apr 22, 2022
Immigration and the Problem at the Border

The Biden administration plans to end use of Title 42, the pandemic-era border policy, next month. The governor of Texas is busing migrants to the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, illegal border crossings are on the rise. Does anyone have a plan? Ali Noorani, president of National Immigration Forum and author of Crossing Borders, joins Sarah to discuss America’s immigration woes.


Show Notes:

-“Crossing Borders: The Reconciliation of a Nation of Immigrants” by Ali Noorani

-Room to Grow: Setting Immigration Levels in a Changing America

-Texas Tribune: “San Antonio and other Texas cities confront the spillover from the border migration crisis”

Apr 20, 2022
Political Implications of Inflation

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report this week, and our hosts are here to talk through it. What does this all mean for the upcoming midterms and 2024? They will discuss that too. Plus, Sweden and Finland are looking to join NATO. What does this mean for the Western alliance? What should we expect from Russia?


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Light at the End of the Inflation Tunnel?”

-The Sweep: “Tsunami or Ripple? What a Midterm Wave Might Look Like.”

-The Sweep: “To Agenda or Not? That Is the Question for the GOP.”

-TMD: “Finland and Sweden Weighing NATO Bids”

-New York Times: “Military Memo Deepens Possible Interstellar Meteor Mystery”

-WUSA: “Teens among seven people arrested after detectives find dog reportedly taken at gunpoint”

Apr 15, 2022
Let's Talk About Sex

Sarah and her guest are here to talk about sex. Christine Emba, a columnist for the Washington Post and author of the new book Rethinking Sex, examines our current sexual mores and finds them wanting. What’s the cause of today’s sexual malaise? What does a new sexual ethic look like? Listen (but maybe not with your young children) for those answers and more.


Show Notes:

-“Rethinking Sex” by Christine Emba

-Christine in the Washington Post: “Consent is not enough. We need a new sexual ethic.”

-David in The Atlantic: “Consent Was Never Enough”

Apr 13, 2022
Future of Supreme Court Fights

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Our hosts are here to discuss what her confirmation foreshadows for future Supreme Court fights. Plus, the Biden administration announced plans to end use of Title 42, a pandemic-era border policy, next month. What does that mean? Sarah, Jonah, and David finish the show discussing the practicality of bringing charges of war crimes as we learn more about the atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “​​The Bucha Massacre and the Horrors to Come”

-G-File: “Is It Okay to Use the ‘G-Word’?”

-The Dispatch: “What are Secondary Sanctions?”

-TMD: “How Will the U.S. Admit Ukraine's Refugees?”

-Uphill: “Congress Finally Meanders to a Russia Trade Bill”

Apr 08, 2022
Cheri Bustos Reflects on Her Service

Rep. Cheri Bustos is leaving Congress at the end of this term. What has she learned from her five terms in the House and—as the former leader of the House Democrats’ campaign arm—from the 2020 election? How can Democrats improve their prospects in the 2022 midterms? Sarah gets these answers and more in a candid conversation with the Illinois congresswoman.


Show Notes:

-Hope from the Heartland: How Democrats Can Better Serve the Midwest by Bringing Rural, Working Class Wisdom to Washington

-How Dems Win in Trump Districts

-The Sweep: “Tsunami or Ripple? What a Midterm Wave Might Look Like.”

Apr 06, 2022
Biden Taps Oil Reserve

President Biden announced he would tap our strategic oil reserves in an effort to fight high gas prices. Our hosts are here to discuss the economic realities of that decision. Plus, it was the slap heard around the world: Why can’t we stop talking about it? Sarah, Jonah, David, and Scott finish the show talking about gaffes, cocaine-fueled orgies, and standing in line.


Show Notes:

-TMD: “It’s a Petroleum Reserve Release, but Is It Strategic?”

-The Dispatch: “The Uncomfortable Truth of Biden’s Gaffe”

-G-File: “Madison Cawthorn’s Warped Washington”

-Capitolism: “Why You Should (Almost) Never Wait in Line”

Apr 01, 2022
Understanding Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1557 into law on Monday. The Parental Rights in Education Act—or “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as its detractors call it—is one of the most contentious and least understood pieces of legislation in recent memory.

On today’s podcast, Declan is joined by Gabriel Malor, an appellate litigator based in Virginia, and Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, for a thoughtful conversation that dives into the bill text and elucidates what the law does—and doesn’t—do. Plus: What are the benefits and drawbacks of writing legislation with vague terminology? And why is Florida passing this bill now? Are the political right and left swapping sides on the exercise of government power?


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Breaking Down the So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill”

Mar 30, 2022
KBJ's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Wrap

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings have wrapped, and our hosts are here to break down the week on Capitol Hill. Jonah, David, and Andrew then turn to the latest developments in the war in Ukraine. Plus, what do the guys make of those Ginni Thomas texts to Mark Meadows? Or Trump dropping his endorsement of Mo Brooks in the Alabama Senate race?


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Biden, World Leaders Huddle on Russia”

-The Dispatch: “Inside the First Ukrainian City to Fall to Russia”

-Washington Post: “Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show”

Mar 25, 2022
One Month of War in Ukraine

Steve talks with Taras Byk, a political consultant now working with the Territorial Defense Forces in Kyiv, to get a sense of what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine. What’s changed since the last time they talked? Steve then has a conversation with Tom Karako, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Why has Russia not been able to establish air superiority? What do we need to know about those hypersonic missiles that Russia launched? Tom has those answers and more.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “Just How Many Russian Soldiers Have Died in Ukraine?”

-French Press: “Questions and Answers After One Month of War”

-New York Times: “How Ukraine’s Outgunned Air Force Is Fighting Back Against Russian Jets”

-CSIS report: “Complex Air Defense: Countering the Hypersonic Missile Threat”

-Bayraktar song

Mar 24, 2022
Russia, Iran, and the American Response

As we pass the third week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our hosts are here to discuss the latest: The Biden administration looks to make a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. What are we to make of the president’s foregin policy? Plus, Sarah and the guys talk about inflation and the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “Concessions to Iran, Russia Pile Up in Nuclear Talks”

-Uphill: “The House Hits Russia on Trade”

-TMD: “An Interest Rate Increase”

Mar 18, 2022
Zelensky Makes His Plea to Congress for Ukraine

On today’s episode, Steve speaks with Eric Edelman, a member of the U.S. foreign service for 28 years who served as a U.S. ambassador, a national security adviser to the vice president, and an under secretary of defense. They discuss Vladimir Putin and his strategy going into the invasion of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to Congress, and finish with the latest on the Iran deal.


Show Notes:

-Edelman’s page at The Dispatch

-Edelman’s podcast Shield of the Republic

-TMD: “Iran Deal on the Ropes?”

Mar 17, 2022
On the Ground in Ukraine

On today’s episode, Steve has a conversation with Taras Byk, a political consultant and former journalist now working with the Territorial Defense Forces in Kyiv, Ukraine. What’s he seeing on the ground? How are the people of Ukraine holding up as we pass the second week of Russia’s invasion? Plus, Sarah, Steve, and Jonah are here to discuss the latest fallout around the world and here at home.


Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “The Past Offers a Way Forward on Foreign Policy”

-Uphill: “The Tug of War Over America’s Russia Response”

-The Current: “School’s in Session”

-The Dispatch: “Why Did Russia Invade Ukraine Now?”

Mar 11, 2022
Ukraine Under Attack

On today’s podcast, Sarah and Steve talk with Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine's former minister of finance. They discuss the history of Ukraine, its people, and what the last two weeks have meant for the country.


Show Notes:

-NPR: “Kenyan U.N. ambassador compares Ukraine's plight to colonial legacy in Africa”

-The Dispatch: “Why Did Russia Invade Ukraine Now?”

Mar 09, 2022
The World Has Changed

As the first week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine passed, our hosts are here to discuss how the world has changed. Plus, President Biden delivers his first State of Union address and Texas holds the first primary elections of 2022. What have we learned from the last week?


Show Notes:

-TMD: “A Nuclear Plant Scare in Ukraine”

-The Dispatch: “Will the European Union Admit Ukraine?”

-The Dispatch: “The Coming Surrender to Iran”

-The Dispatch: “Fact Checking the State of the Union”

Mar 04, 2022
Ben Sasse, Barbara Comstock, and the State of the Union

On today’s podcast, Steve is joined by Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our response to it, and his thoughts on the State of the Union. Steve is then joined by Barbara Comstock, former representative of Virginia, for a conversation about President Joe Biden’s speech last night and the future of the Republican Party.


Show Notes:

-French Press: “Questions and Answers After Six Days of War”

-Jonah “Gradually, Then Suddenly: How the World Stood Up to Putin”

-TMD: State of the Union

-From The Dispatch: “GOP Reps Slam Greene, Gosar”

Mar 02, 2022
Russia Starts a War

Right before recording today’s episode started, news broke that President Joe Biden is nominating Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Our hosts take a quick look at that and what it means for SCOTUS. Then the conversation moved to the dire situation in Ukraine. David cautioned against believing all of the information we receive in the fog of war and the group discusses how many people on the right have flip-flopped on Putin. Tune in, too, for a preview of next week’s State of the Union address.


Show Notes:

-Ketanji Brown Jackson nominated to the Supreme Court

-Sen. Graham on KBJ nomination

-Ukrainian woman gives Russian soldier sunflower seeds

-Snake Island audio

-J.D. Vance’s latest statement on Ukraine

-Garry Kasparov on Twitter

-Mr. President, It’s Time for a Little Humility | NYT

Feb 25, 2022
Understanding Vladimir Putin's Russia

In a lively discussion about who Vladimir Putin is and the danger he poses to the world, Steve is joined by Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, and Susan Glasser, staff writer at The New Yorker. The two, who are married, offer insights to their book, Kremlin Rising, which they co-authored during their four year stay in Russia. The trio discuss Putin's rise to power, his current rhetoric, as well as how the Republican Party and Trump have grown increasingly close to him.


Show Notes:

-Kremlin Rising by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser

-Susan's Frontline interview

-Polling on Putin's growing popularity in the Republican Party

Feb 23, 2022
We Can't Get No Satisfaction

According to polling from Gallup, Americans are as happy as they’ve almost ever been. Yet their feelings toward the country as a whole are near an all-time low. Why is that? Sarah, Steve, David, and Declan discuss that and more. Plus, in San Francisco, the left seemed to do some self-correcting after a successful recall of a number of school board members. And finally, as Steve promised members on this week’s Dispatch Live, a continued conversation about Rep. Liz Cheney.


Show Notes:

-Gallup satisfaction numbers

-San Francisco recall election results

-What pundits don’t understand about the San Francisco recall | Mother Jones

-David on the San Fran recall in The Atlantic

-Squad politics backfire | Axios

-San Francisco Mayor on The New York Times podcast “Sway”

-Local BLM chapter posts bail for man charged with attempted murder of mayoral candidate

-Dispatch Live (for members only)

-Republican or not | SNL


Feb 18, 2022
Ukraine Hit By Cyberattacks

Today on the podcast, Sarah and Steve are joined by Klon Kitchen, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, to discuss the latest in Ukraine after the country was hit by cyberattacks. Plus, how much is the Republican Party’s foreign policy views changing? And what exactly can the Chinese government do with all that TikTok data?


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Ukraine on the Brink”

-Klon’s Dispatch piece: “The Old—and Incoherent—Foreign Policy of the New Right”

-Ahmari, Deneen and Pappin: “Hawks Are Standing in the Way of a New Republican Party”

Feb 16, 2022
Todd Rose Talks Collective Illusions

On today’s podcast, Sarah and Steve talk with Todd Rose, author of Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions. How much of our thinking about each other is informed by false assumptions? What are the consequences of a society this mistrustful? And what are we to do about it?


Show Notes:

-Collective Illusions by Todd Rose

Feb 11, 2022
‘Legitimate Political Discourse’

On today’s podcast, our hosts discuss the Republican Party’s decision to censure two of its own members, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, over their involvement in the January 6 investigation. Plus, a growing list of states have lifted their mask mandates. What’s changed?


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Republicans Choose Their Corners in the January 6 Brawl”

-The Sweep: “Did McCain-Feingold Ruin America?”

-National Journal: “Biden is blowing his COVID moment”

Feb 10, 2022
Rob Portman on Risk of War in Ukraine

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman joined The Dispatch Podcast to talk about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. What is Vladimir Putin doing? Why should Americans care? Plus, Steve and David ask Sen. Portman about efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act.


Show Notes:

-Sen. Portman on Meet the Press

-French Press: “Stop Screwing Around and Reform the Electoral Count Act”

Feb 04, 2022
Trump Tried to Steal an Election

On today’s podcast, our hosts discuss the latest round of statements from former President Donald Trump and new reports about his role after the 2020 election. How are elected Republicans reacting? Plus, President Joe Biden has a Supreme Court seat to fill, and the world turns its eyes toward China as the Winter Olympics get underway.


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Trump Doubles Down on January 6 Role”

-G-File: “This Was Always the Plan”

Feb 02, 2022
Replacing a Supreme Court Justice

On today’s podcast, Steve moderates a conversation about the politics of replacing Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Joining Sarah on the panel is Gregg Nunziata, who worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and John McCormack, Washington correspondent for National Review. What does replacing a Supreme Court justice look like from behind the scenes? Our panel has that answer and more.


Show Notes:

-Stirewaltisms: A Supreme Break for Biden

-TMD: Breyer to Retire

-Advisory Opinions: Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire

Jan 28, 2022
The Escalating Crisis in Ukraine

The problems in Ukraine are getting worse. Our hosts discuss what led to the current situation and the role President Biden played in getting to this point. Then Sarah, David, Jonah, and Steve talk about two issues that are not getting enough attention as we head to the midterms: immigration and crime.


Show Notes:

-TMD: Germany Drags Feet On Ukraine

-Uphill: What Price Will Putin Pay for a Ukraine Invasion?

-NATO spending requirements

-Crime stats

-San Francisco Mayor crime speech

Jan 27, 2022
Heidi Heitkamp Talks Filibuster, Biden’s First Year

On today’s episode, Sarah and Steve speak with Heidi Heitkamp, former North Dakota senator and founder of One Country Project. They cover everything from the filibuster to President Biden’s first year in office. What doesn’t work about the Senate? Can Biden turn things around before the midterms?


Show Notes:

-TMD looks back at Biden’s first year

-Uphill looks at the state of Build Back Better

Jan 21, 2022
Biden at One Year

A year ago, almost to the day, Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States. The gang looks back at a year full of shifts to progressive policies from Biden. Is he living up to his promise of restoring normalcy in America? Plus, Gallup says 2021 saw the greatest shift in party preferences for as long as Gallup has been around. What does that mean for the country and our politics? Finally, are we on the brink of World War III with Russia threatening to go into Ukraine?


Show Notes:

-How Biden’s first year became a tale of two presidencies | POLITICO

-Sen. Jim DeMint on what type of Republicans he preferred

-Sen. Brian Schatz on the filibuster (from November 2017)

-U.S. Political Party Preferences Shifted Greatly During 2021 | Gallup

-The Sweep from May 4 on campaign fundraising

-David Ignatius’ page on The Washington Post website

Jan 19, 2022
Rep. Newhouse on Voting Rights Push

Rep. Dan Newhouse, one of the 10 House Republicans to impeach Trump, joins Sarah and Steve on today’s podcast. They discuss why he is against Biden’s new voting rights legislation and how much influence the federal government should have over elections. Plus, the congressman talks about his view of the filibuster, and the rightward shift of rural America.


Show Notes:

-Rep. Newhouse's statement against new voting rights legislation

Jan 14, 2022
Biden Pivots to Voting Rights

President Biden ran his 2020 campaign on the promise he’d bring back “normal” life in America. Almost one year later, there is still an ongoing pandemic, record-high inflation, and a serious lack of food in grocery stores. The gang discusses it all and what it means for the country. Plus, President Biden spoke about voting rights in Atlanta yesterday and the speech aggravated all four hosts. They discuss the speech and how it adds to the tearing of the social fabric in America.


Show Notes:

-President Biden’s speech in Atlanta

-Stacey Abrams snubs President Biden?

-Democrats, Voting Rights Are Not the Problem | Yuval Levin

-Tweet that sparked the “worst three-hour drive” debate

Jan 12, 2022
2022 and the Upcoming Midterms

On today’s podcast, Chris Stirewalt fills in for Steve and Sarah and has a discussion with Josh Kraushaar of National Journal. They talk about the teacher strike in Chicago, which leads to a broader discussion of Biden and the Democratic Party’s unwillingness to challenge the extremes of the party. Plus, they discuss the upcoming midterms and the projected Republican landslide that could be the party’s largest majority since the 1920s.


Show Notes:

-Josh’s Interview with Jared Polis

-Josh’s article about Democrats/Joe Biden pandering to extremes of the party

-Poll on how two-thirds of Republicans believe the election was stolen

-David Shor on how the progressives have “hijacked” the Democratic Party

-Josh’s podcast Against the Grain

Jan 07, 2022
January 6: One Year Later

On the eve of the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, the podcast is dedicated entirely to the events at the Capitol. The gang recounts their memories from that bleak day in Washington and what it has meant for the country over the past year. A lively discussion about what role Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the left played in the lead-up and aftermath ensues. Finally, what will be different about how we talk about January 6 in 20 years?


Show Notes:

-First-ever editorial from The Dispatch calling for Trump impeachment

-The Dispatch Podcast from January 7, 2021

-Inside the Capitol Riot: An Exclusive Video Investigation | New York Times

-Rep. Mike Gallagher on January 6

-Sen. Lindsey Graham on the Senate floor on January 6

Jan 06, 2022
The Collapse of Build Back Better

In the final episode of “The Dispatch Podcast” in 2021, our hosts talk about Joe Manchin’s non-reliability for the Democrats, the increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and the growing spread of the more-infectious Omicron variant. They close by asking a question: How will historians in 100 years view the past two decades?


Show Notes:

-Give someone a Dispatch subscription this Christmas

-TMD: “Manchin Says No to Build Back Better”

-Jonah: “Democrats Are Still Misreading Political Reality”

-Dmitri Alperovitch Twitter thread on Russian aggression

-TMD: “Biden Inches Toward New Pandemic Paradigm”

Dec 23, 2021
January 6 and Those Mark Meadows Texts

On today’s episode, our hosts discuss the House’s vote to hold Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, in criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the January 6 Select Committee. Plus, are we taking threats to vote counting seriously enough? Is Jonah right about Omicron? And, is President Biden being unfairly treated by the media?


Show Notes:

-TMD on Mark Meadows text messages

-The Atlantic: “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun”

-Jonah’s G-File with his Omicron argument

Dec 15, 2021
Raffensperger on the Need for Integrity

On today’s podcast, Sarah and Steve are joined by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In 2020, Georgia was at the center of claims of voter fraud that kept President Trump from returning to the White House, and before that in 2018, the state was the site of claims of voter suppression that kept Stacey Abrams from the governor’s mansion. Raffensperger, author of the new book Integrity Counts, tells our hosts why Americans should have confidence and trust in our country’s elections.


Show Notes:

-Axios: “Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results”

-Integrity Counts, by Brad Raffensperger

Dec 10, 2021
Jonathan Karl on Trump's Final Days

In his new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, Jonathan Karl, ABC News' chief Washington correspondent, details what was really going on in the final months of the Trump administration, and in the aftermath of the 2020 election. What was happening behind-the-scenes as Trump left the White House? How should the press cover a potential 2024 campaign by the former president?


Show Notes:

-Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl

Dec 03, 2021
Supreme Court Hears Mississippi Abortion Case

With all eyes on the Supreme Court today, the gang starts with an explainer of what is happening in the oral arguments of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. What’s at stake? Is it as monumental as some are making it out to be? When might we know how the court rules? Plus, a new COVID variant emerges, Russia builds up its military presence near Ukraine, and blue states fail to live up to their own ideals.


Show Notes:

-SCOTUSblog on Dobbs v. Jackson

-TMD on Omicron

-U.S., Allies Warn Russia Over Military Buildup Around Ukraine | WSJ

-David Ignatius’ latest column on Ukraine

-Blue States, You’re the Problem | NYT

-Everyone’s Moving to Texas. Here’s Why. | NYT

Dec 01, 2021
Curb Your Inflation

On today's podcast, our hosts discuss how to solve a problem like inflation. Will Biden's Build Back Better Act actually bring down prices? Plus, Sarah and the guys discuss pandemic fatigue driving voters to the GOP, what's going on at the Naval Observatory, and what the Kyle Rittenhouse and Ahmaud Arbery trials tell us about ourselves as a nation.


Show Notes:

-TMD: “Can the Build Back Better Act Curb Inflation?”

-The Sweep: “Dems’ Permanent Pandemic Mindset Deepens Midterm Gap”

-CNN: “Exasperation and dysfunction: Inside Kamala Harris' frustrating start as vice president”

-Harris has a Veep moment

-David in The Atlantic: “Kyle Rittenhouse Is No Hero”

Nov 17, 2021
Supply-Chain Woes Explained

On today's episode, Sarah and Steve sit down with Scott Lincicome, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of The Dispatch newsletter Capitolism, to discuss the details of our global supply-chain issues. Plus, Lincicome answers questions about inflation, wages, and problems with our labor force participation.

Show Notes:

-Make sure you get Capitolism in your inbox

-Lincicome’s latest Capitolism tackles our supply-chain woes

-Lincicome’s Capitolism looking at our labor shortage

Nov 12, 2021
Supply-Chain's Political Fallout

On today's show, our hosts discuss issues up-and-down the supply-chain, and the political fallout it brings. Plus, the ripple effects of the House passing the infrastructure package, what we think we know about the 2022 midterms, and the latest news around the Steele dossier.

Show Notes:

-Lincicome’s latest Capitolism tackles our supply-chain woes

-Uphill breaks down the bipartisan infrastructure bill

-The Sweep digests the election results from last week

-Politico: “The Surprising Strategy Behind Youngkin’s Stunner”

Nov 10, 2021
Sen. Ben Sasse at the Aspen Security Forum

Today’s episode of The Dispatch Podcast is a little bit different than the typical Friday version. Steve interviewed Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse at the Aspen Security Forum on the topic of America’s response to the digital revolution across the globe. Among some of the more interesting topics discussed: China and “chuckleheads,” as Sen. Sasse refers to some members of Congress. Sen. Sasse explains why even though the country faces an immense amount of problems he is still optimistic about the future.

Show Notes:

Nov 05, 2021
Biden Backlash Begins

Sometimes the news of the day calls for some good old-fashioned rank punditry and after Tuesday’s elections today’s Dispatch Podcast does just that. Sarah, David, Jonah, and Declan look at the results not just in Virginia, but New Jersey, Minneapolis, and Buffalo, too. What do the results mean for the 2022 midterms? Anything at all? Our hosts break it all down.

Show Notes:

-TMD on election night in America

Nov 03, 2021
What’s Happening In Loudoun County?

On today's podcast, Sarah and David talk with Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, to discuss what exactly is happening in Loudoun County, Virginia. Critical race theory in schools? A sexual assault controversy? And how will this all affect the race for governor in Virginia?

Show Notes:

-Prior “More Va. Public Schools Using Kids As Guinea Pigs For Critical Race Theory”

-French Press “When the State Kinda Sorta Parents Your Child”

-The Sweep: Down to the Wire in Virginia

Oct 29, 2021
Final Push in Virginia

On today's episode, our hosts discuss a new proposal from Democrats to tax the unrealized capital gains of billionaires. Is it constitutional? Plus, Taiwan and “strategic ambiguity,” the Facebook files, and who will Virginia elect as governor next week?

Show Notes:

-The Dispatch: “Washington Should Deter an Attack on Taiwan”

-Wall Street Journal “The Facebook Files”

-The Sweep: Down to the Wire in Virginia

-The Dispatch “President Biden Stumps for Terry McAuliffe”

Oct 27, 2021
Balance of Power: China and the United States

On today's episode, Sarah and Steve talk with Klon Kitchen, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and veteran of the intelligence community to discuss the latest news out of China. What do China’s hypersonic missile tests mean for the balance of power between the United States and China? Are we at the start of a new "cold war?" Kitchen answers these questions and more.

Show Notes:

-“Why China’s Hypersonic Missile Tests Are So Concerning” by Klon Kitchen

Oct 22, 2021
China's Hypersonic Missile Ambitions

On today’s podcast, our hosts tackle a wide range of topics. From China’s hypersonic missiles to the ongoing situation in Loudoun County, Steve, Sarah, Jonah, and David grapple with what those issues mean for the country with heavy doses of concern and skepticism. Plus, some good old-fashioned rank punditry. Sarah asks whether political operatives are responsible for ruining our politics? And some level-setting on Jonah’s third party idea that has caused a stir on the right.

Show Notes:

-“The Greatest Cold War Myth of All” - Charles Krauthammer

-Jonah’s Los Angeles Times column on a third party

-Jesse Singal on Loudoun County

Oct 20, 2021
Former Congressmen Burn Down the House

Former Rep. Dan Lipinski, Democrat from the Chicago area, and Reid Ribble, Republican from Wisconsin, join Sarah and Steve about how Congress works or doesn’t work, rather. The two former elected officials highlight the failures of the House of Representatives with troubling personal stories and insights. Fair warning, this conversation is as distressing as it is informative. Plus, stick around to hear what the Wisconsinite and Illinoisian think about this weekend’s Packers vs. Bears game.

Show Notes:

Oct 15, 2021
Texas Governor Fights Vaccine Mandates

To quote the great Ozzy Osbourne, “We’re going off the rails on the crazy train.” In today’s podcast, our hosts look at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates, the DOJ memo aimed at school boards, an update to the January 6 committee, and President Biden's slumping numbers among independents. And finally, what does all of this mean for 2022 and (even though it’s way too early) 2024?

Show Notes:

-Abbott says businesses control their merchandise

-Abbott says businesses cannot control who is vaccinated in their store

-Merrick Garland letter

-National School Board Association letter

-McAuliffe: "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach."

-Tragic homicide story over vaccines in Maryland

-Daily Wire Loudoun County story

-“We Came So Close to Disaster” - French Press

-Eastman Memo: “It’s Real and It’s Not Spectacular” - Advisory Opinions

-Bill Kristol and William Baude

-The Sweep on Biden’s polling struggles

-Ezra Klein and David Shor

Oct 13, 2021
Our Growing Pirate Skiff

On today's episode, Jonah hijacks hosting duties from Sarah to have a conversation with Steve as The Dispatch celebrates its second anniversary. How did we get here? What is the state of the company? And where are we going?

Show Notes:

-The Dispatch manifesto from 2019

Oct 08, 2021
Rising Tensions in the Indo-Pacific

On today's podcast, our hosts discuss China's recent incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, and how seriously the United States should take the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific. Plus: Democrats are in disarray on Capitol Hill, a State Department official resigns over the Biden administration’s border policy, and Facebook is feeling the heat from all directions.

Show Notes:

-Read TMD on China’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan

-Subscribe to Uphill for the latest news from Capitol Hill

-Facebook Files from WSJ

Oct 07, 2021
Infrastructure Stalemate

On today's podcast, Steve is joined by Haley Byrd Wilt, who writes Uphill for The Dispatch, and John McCormack, Washington correspondent for National Review, to discuss what exactly has been happening on Capitol Hill this week. After House Democrats delayed a vote on the infrastructure bill, can both factions find a way to end the stalemate?

Show Notes:

-Subscribe to Uphill for the latest news from Capitol Hill

-Read McCormack at National Review

Oct 01, 2021
Democrats Split on Capitol Hill

All eyes are focused on Capitol Hill this week as the debt ceiling, government funding, and infrastructure talks continue to heat up in both houses of Congress. Also happening in both chambers is testimony on Afghanistan from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie. Sarah has the week off, so Steve, David, and Jonah discuss it all on this week’s episode. And for dessert: the future of the Republican Party.

Show Notes:

-TMD on Afghanistan testimony

-Uphill on what the heck is going on in Congress

-Jennifer Graham Afghanistan reporting

-Robert Kagan on our constitutional crisis in the Washington Post

-The Eastman memo

Sep 29, 2021
The Fight to Raise the Debt Ceiling

On today's episode, Brian Riedl, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joins Sarah and Steve as Congress debates lifting America’s borrowing cap. Will Democrats and Republicans come to an agreement to lift the debt limit? Are we heading toward another government shutdown? Is anyone in Washington concerned about our ballooning national debt?

Show Notes:

-The Morning Dispatch looks at Biden’s make or break week

-Riedl’s piece from earlier this summer “Trillions and Trillions”

Sep 24, 2021
Is Biden Just Bad at his Job?

After the latest surge of migrants in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, our hosts discuss how the Biden administration has handled the immigration issue since taking office. Plus, President Biden continues to have foreign policy problems. What happened with the botched drone strike in Afghanistan? Why is France mad at us? All of that leaves Jonah with one big question: Is Biden just bad at his job?

Show Notes:

-Jonah on Biden’s foreign policy

-The Morning Dispatch breaks down the drone strike that killed civilians in Afghanistan

-TMD catches you up on the deal between the U.S., U.K., and Australia

-Tom Joscelyn on AUKUS in Vital Interests

Sep 22, 2021
S.E. Cupp on Moderation and Social Media

On today’s episode, CNN’s S.E. Cupp joins Sarah and Steve to talk about the Biden administration, Congress, and why extremism is taking over the politics of today. Plus, the trio discusses the effects of social media on the news business and the challenges that come with being the target of internet trolls.

Show Notes:

Sep 17, 2021
General Milley and Trump's Final Days

Journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa have a new book coming out that is full of more scandals from the Trump era, most notably one involving Gen. Mark Milley possibly going around the chain of command in the final days of the Trump administration. Before that discussion, the gang discusses the legality and politics of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. Plus, a potpourri of topics pertaining to the GOP and what to make of the California recall election.

Show Notes:

-Excerpts from Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

-Reporting from Jennifer Griffin

-More excerpts from Peril

-Scott Lincicome’s latest Capitolism newsletter

Sep 15, 2021
Ben Sasse on Afghanistan and Reflections on September 11

In today's episode, Sarah and Steve talk with Sen. Ben Sasse about the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and what to do next. For a longer summary of the interview, check out an article on The Dispatch website. Plus, Steve talks with Peter Wehner who was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001. They share reflections on that day at the White House and the last 20 years.

Show Notes:

-“The Vanishing American Adult” by Ben Sasse

-“Them” by Ben Sasse

-Peter Wehner at The Atlantic

-Peter Wehner at The New York Times

-“The Death of Politics” by Peter Wehner

Sep 10, 2021
September 11: 20 Years Later

President Biden is having a no good, horrible, very bad summer. The gang, with Chris Stirewalt subbing in for David, discuss whether Biden can recover from the last few weeks. Is the only thing that can save Biden a reemergence of former President Trump? Trump is slated to visit Iowa and the group discusses what that means for 2024. And finally, Afghanistan is still in shambles and we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Listen to hear what Sarah, Jonah, Steve, and Chris were doing 20 years ago and how it impacted the rest of their lives.

Show Notes:

-Amy Walter on Biden’s approval rating

-Jonah’s 9/11 piece

Sep 08, 2021
Abortion in America

This week, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, declined to block a Texas abortion law from going into effect. In Thursday’s Advisory Opinions podcast, Sarah and David tackled the legal aspect of the law and the court’s decision. Today, they turn to the politics--not just of the Texas law, but of the issue of abortion itself. Where does the pro-life movement stand today? Where does it go from here?

Show Notes:

-David’s piece breaking down the Supreme Court’s decision

-David and Sarah’s legal analysis of the Supreme Court’s ruling

-Study: “How Americans Understand Abortion”

Sep 03, 2021
Disco Ball of Asininity

There are no more troops in Afghanistan, and President Biden is telling us we had no other option. The gang talks about all the problems with Biden’s speech from the White House at the end of the war in Afghanistan. Plus, as political violence seems to be ticking up recently our hosts debate whether or not that is something to worry about. And finally, creeping a little bit into Advisory Opinions territory, what’s going on with all of the big cases in the Supreme Court?

Show Notes:

-Biden’s speech on the end of the Afghan War

-McConnell honors Joe Biden in 2016

-David’s latest newsletter on political violence

-Sen. Ron Johnson is a closet normal

-Eviction moratorium ends

-Texas abortion law

Sep 01, 2021
Rep. Mike Gallagher on Afghanistan

Rep. Mike Gallagher joins Sarah and Steve on the podcast and tries (with no luck) to understand the logic behind the Biden administration’s withdrawal plan in Afghanistan. Gallagher puts it quite bluntly, “The whole thing is a mess, and there are very few options we have right now.” The Marine Corps veteran explains what he’d like to see from the Biden administration going forward and how the GOP should handle national security issues going forward. Plus, find out what brutal book the congressman just finished reading (hint: it’s about Sarah’s home state).

Show Notes:

Aug 27, 2021
Scramble to Evacuate Afghanistan

Today, the gang leads the podcast with yet another conversation about the crisis in Afghanistan. As they tick through all the bad takes floating around the internet surrounding the situation one by one, it’s clear the main takeaway is that it’s still really bad and sad to watch. Plus, more infrastructure talk! Has Nancy Pelosi lost her political touch? The Dispatch Podcast team breaks down how the political maneuvering of infrastructure will affect 2022. And for dessert: the California gubernatorial recall election.

Show Notes:

-Can the Taliban become a reliable partner to the U.S.? Only time will tell. - David Ignatius

-History of the Dunkirk evacuation

-David subs for Jonah on The Remnant

-TMD tries to explain the House infrastructure rule

-TMD on California recall

Aug 25, 2021
Failure in Afghanistan

In this episode, Steve moderates a conversation with David French and Tom Joscelyn about the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. They cover the Biden administration’s decision not to begin evacuations before the Taliban captured Kabul, intelligence failures, the state of the Afghan military, and much, much more.

Show Notes:

-Read Vital Interest for Tom’s latest analysis on Afghanistan

-Read The French Press for David’s latest analysis on Afghanistan

Aug 20, 2021
American Defeat

For the large majority of today’s podcast, our hosts discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan and how it will affect domestic politics in the United States. Perhaps David summed up the conversation around the Afghanistan situation as succinctly as possible, “There’s no way to spin this as anything other than a direct American defeat.” Plus, short conversations about the state of COVID-19 and the new census data.

Show Notes:

-The Remnant with Eli Lake

-The Sweep on issue polling

-All of Thomas Joscelyn’s latest Vital Interests

-New census data

-Americans Color Outside the Lines - Chris Stirewalt

Aug 18, 2021
Infrastructure Passes and Collapse in Afghanistan

In his first interview after voting yes on the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill, Sen. Bill Cassidy joins Sarah and Steve to talk about how it feels to see that bill pass the Senate. Plus, Cassidy puts on his doctor hat to talk about COVID-19. Then Steve is joined by Tom Joscelyn to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. How much longer until the Taliban seizes full control of the country?

Show Notes:

-Closer look at passing of the infrastructure bill from Uphill

-David French’s view on Afghanistan

-Read Vital Interest for the latest analysis on Afghanistan

Aug 13, 2021
Senate Approves Infrastructure Bill

At long last, infrastructure week is here! The gang contemplates what the bipartisan plan and Democratic reconciliation package mean for the country and the economy. Also, how would Sen. Goldberg vote on the bipartisan bill? Then the discussion turns to what should be done about the latest damning climate report. Plus, everyone’s worst fears about Afghanistan from a few weeks ago seem to be coming true. And finally, for dessert, Andrew Cuomo.

Show Notes:

-Uphill’s latest update on infrastructure

-IPCC report

-Pentagon press secretary John Kirby

-State Department spokesman Ned Price

-Cuomo resigns

Aug 11, 2021
Six Months Into Biden's Iran Strategy

How do you solve a problem like Iran? Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is here to talk with Sarah and Steve about the Biden administration's approach to Iran after six months in office. Was moving away from the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign the right move?

Show Notes:

-Goldberg’s piece in The Dispatch

Aug 06, 2021
End of the Line for Cuomo

On today’s podcast, our hosts kick things off with a discussion about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who refuses to resign despite a damning sexual harassment report and calls from national Democrats, including President Biden, to step aside. They then dive into the CDC’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium again and debate the possibility of a federal vaccine mandate. Next, David talks about the right’s new obsession with Hungary and Viktor Orbán and how it mirrors the left’s fascination with Scandinavia. Finally, the gang discusses the recent dropoff in PAC contributions, and how the rise in small dollar donations may be contributing to American partisanship.

Show Notes:

-The battle for 1042 Cutler Street

-Web/fundraising email loop

Aug 04, 2021
Will Hurd on Dysfunction in Congress

Former U.S. Representative Will Hurd from Texas joins Sarah and Steve to talk about dysfunction in Congress, the January 6 committee, and the centralization of power in Washington. Hurd tells our hosts that there’s no incentive to solve real issues in Congress and we’re incapable of dealing with generation-defining issues because our political system is full of silly issues. Plus, why it’s imperative to teach students how to code. And why, contrary to Republican talking points, January 6 was not an ordinary day. Finally, how the Republican Party can be more competitive with people of color, young people, and suburban women.

Show Notes:

-Will Hurd’s upcoming book

Jul 30, 2021
January 6 Committee Gets Started

The select committee to investigate the January 6 attack held their first hearing on Tuesday, our hosts are here to discuss the substance and politics of what we heard. Plus, the CDC is out with new guidelines recommending vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in certain parts of the county. Can Jonah contain his anger at the CDC's messaging? And why are opinions on Simone Biles' decision to withdraw from competition a race to the bottom?

Show Notes:

-The Morning Dispatch recap’s January 6 committee hearing

-CDC updated its COVID-19 mask guidance

-Simone Biles drops out of Tokyo Olympics team final

Jul 28, 2021
Finding the Ideological Center of Gravity

Patrick Ruffini, a co-founder of the predictive analytics and research firm Echelon Insights, joins Sarah and Chris to discuss his recent analysis of the American electorate. Ruffini tells our hosts where the ideological center of gravity seems to be and why cultural issues might be driving voter turnout. Chris asks whether a party can adopt a perfect policy position and if party bases tolerate ideological flexibility. Plus, why are moderate Democrats outperforming progressives? And why are educated voters drifting left, but non-educated voters are drifting right?

Show Notes:

-Echelon Insights Four Quadrants of American Voters

Jul 23, 2021
White House Battles Social Media Over Misinformation

The White House has announced that it will be flagging misinformation on Facebook in an attempt to diminish vaccine skepticism. But could politicizing this issue even further actually embolden anti-vaxxers? Our hosts consider how we can sway the unvaccinated, and whether the world would be better off without online comment sections. Afterward, Steve introduces a potpourri of topics for Jonah and Sarah to dig into. How concerned should we be about inflation? Do Republicans have any interest in fully uncovering what happened on January 6? And can Biden convince the Democrats to accept a bipartisan infrastructure agreement after promising unity in his inaugural address? The gang concludes by discussing Jeff Bezos’ voyage to outer space, and Jonah considers whether we should build nuclear reactors on the moon.

Show Notes:

-The Morning Dispatch breaks down Biden’s clash with Big Tech

-Jonah’s column: “Biden Shows How Not to Improve Vaccine Rates”

-A Forbes article on the myth of vaccine-induced magnetism

-TMD explores whether inflation is a threat

-Alex Tabarrok discusses inflation on The Remnant

Jul 21, 2021
Chris Christie Talks Future of the GOP

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joins Sarah and Chris Stirewalt to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the Republican Party. They discuss why Republicans should make education a priority issue, why inflation is a liability for Democrats, and why Republicans are doomed if they continue to relitigate the past. Plus, how do Republicans win back the suburbs? Christie argues that suburban voters didn’t abandon Republicans because of issues; they just didn’t like Donald Trump. Finally, are we going to see Chris Christie run for office again?

Jul 16, 2021
Cries for Freedom in Cuba

Cuban citizens have taken to the streets to protest the oppressive communist regime, but what can the United States do to help? Should we do anything to help? The gang considers the moral and political implications of United States foreign policy toward Cuba. David notes that vaccine hesitancy is having severe consequences as positive covid cases continue to rise. How should we go about persuading the vaccine-hesitant to get the vaccine? Plus, Texas Democrats have left the state in protest over a new voting bill, and Sarah has some thoughts. Is this bill an example of voter suppression or just over-eagerness from Democrats to have a talking point? Finally, tech companies face legislative threats from the state level. Chris questions the unintended consequences of big-tech bills.

Show Notes:

-Jonah’s column: “Vaccines Save Lives. Anti-Vax Hysteria Kills.”

-Chris’s Article: “Anti-Vaccine Pandering Poses Risk for GOP”

-Ramesh Ponnuru’s column on Biden’s response to voting bills: “Biden’s Voting Rights Bluster Recycles Failed Strategy”

-CPAC 2024 Straw Poll Results

Jul 14, 2021
Capitol Riot Investigation Pushes Forward

Earlier this week marked the six-month anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, but the criminal investigations are only beginning to hit full stride. Scott MacFarlane, a local investigative reporter at NBC4 Washington, who has reported extensively on the aftermath of January 6, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss the status of the ongoing criminal trials. MacFarlane also talks about the increase in threats against members of Congress.

Show Notes:

-Scott MacFarlane’s twitter account

-New York Times’ video investigation into January 6

Jul 09, 2021
Six Months Later

In this podcast, our hosts indulge in a wide-ranging airing of grievances, starting with a reflection on the political salience of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, six months after the fact. The gang then discusses whether Republicans have lost the right to be called the party of ideas and what might be behind the GOP’s current allergy to nuance. Sarah also explores the tension between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump that cropped up over Trump’s recent Florida rally. Looking ahead to the 2024 elections, Chris argues that most pundits are missing who will be the biggest player, by far, in the contest: President Joe Biden. Lastly, Chris asks whether the abysmal state of election administration in some cases—as revealed by the recent New York City mayoral race—is proof that Democrats' are not taking threats to the American democracy seriously, and whether the failure to do so will make it easier for bad actors to steal elections.

Show Notes:

-New York Times: Inside the Capitol Riot: An Exclusive Video Investigation

-Straw poll showing Ron DeSantis edging out Donald Trump in 2024

-Chris’ column on NYC mayoral race: “Nobody Will Ever Know Who Really Won”

-Ezra Klein: California Is Making Liberals Squirm

-Associated Press: Trump announces suits against Facebook, Twitter and Google

Jul 07, 2021
From Ohio with Love

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez returns to the podcast this week to discuss his re-election campaign against a Trump-endorsed challenger, the House’s new January 6 commission, how Democrats’ narrow majorities in Congress shape their behavior, what’s really on his constituents’ minds, and why embracing Trump’s election lies should be a non-starter for potential GOP candidates in 2024.

Show Notes:

-Declan’s article on Trump’s recent rally with Gonzalez’s primary opponent

-Gonzalez’s previous Dispatch podcast appearance (Jan. 29)

Jul 02, 2021
Welcome to New York City

Incompetence strikes again in New York’s mayoral race, a blow to American’s faith in government but not, our hosts argue, fuel for 2020 election fraud claims or a ding on ranked choice voting. The gang then discusses Vice President Kamala Harris’ belated visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. Steve points out that Harris’ clumsy handling of immigration is more than just a messaging failure, and says just as much about the Biden administration’s policy failures. David dives into why governors don’t call up the National Guard more (as South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem did recently for a border mission.) They also tackle an underreported aspect of infrastructure negotiations on the Hill and discuss what divides that drama reveals about the Democratic Party. Lastly, our hosts discuss Bill Barr’s defiance of former President Donald Trump on 2020 election fraud claims and whether the most hardcore Trump supporters qualify as a religion or a cult.

Show Notes:

-New York Times article about the chaos of the New York mayoral race

-Texas Tribune article about Kamala Harris’ visit to the border

-A Washington Post article about Kristi Noem’s deploying national guards to the border

-Yuval Levin’s article in National Review about how what the media missed in the infrastructure reporting

-Jonathan Karl’s story in The Atlantic about Bill Barr’s final days in Trump-era Department of Justice

Jun 30, 2021
Infrastructure Deal's Uncertain Future

Sarah and Chris Stirewalt welcome RealClearPolitics associate editor and columnist A.B. Stoddard to the show today to run the gamut of the week’s political news. They discuss whether the bipartisan infrastructure deal is actually a compromise (and whether it can pass), why Kamala Harris is finally traveling to the border, and what needs to happen in Congress to preclude a nightmare scenario for the Republic in January 2025.

Show Notes:

-The Morning Dispatch breaks down infrastructure negotiations

-Dems Botched Voting Rights; They Need a New Bill (A.B. Stoddard, RealClearPolitics)

-The Sweep: Election Day in Gotham

Jun 25, 2021
Taliban Makes Gains in Afghanistan

As the Biden administration seeks to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September, the Taliban is already on the offensive. How should the United States respond? And how should the United States take care of the thousands of Afghans who have aided the United States against the Taliban? The gang discusses. Then, David brings up interesting statistics regarding how often each Supreme Court justice is part of the majority. Does this undermine the traditional categorization of justices along the ideological spectrum? Plus, they talk about the preliminary results in the New York Democratic primary, in which crime was the top voter issue according to opinion polls. What does this mean for the 2022 elections and beyond? Lastly, our hosts discuss the recent backlash from the left against musical actor Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Show Notes:

-FDD’s Long War Journal on the Taliban offensive

-Thomas Joscelyn on Al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan

-Thomas Joscelyn on the Taliban gains

-Adam Liptak on Supreme Court justices’ proportions in majority

Jun 23, 2021
Bipartisan Food Truck Conversation

Mo Elleithee, a longtime Democratic operative and executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service, joins Sarah and Chris Stirewalt to break down the results of the latest GU Battleground Poll. They talk about the implications of voters’ concerns about division, the nuanced differences between attitudinal and issue polling, and how the parties’ messaging on issues they respectively “own” are shaping political dynamics heading into the midterms.

Show Notes:

-GU Battleground Poll

-Chris’ column on junk poling

-This week’s Sweep on polling and primaries

Jun 18, 2021
The Fight Over Critical Race Theory

The critical race theory battle has quickly invaded school boards all across the country - but is everyone arguing in bad faith? The gang considers the politics of CRT and the role of legislators in regulating public school curriculum. Plus, Sarah points out the flaws in issue polling and why we should be skeptical of the results. Finally, foreign policy galore. What should Biden say to Putin? Is this summit practice for an eventual showdown with China? Should Ukraine join NATO?

Show Notes:

-Poll: 29% of Republicans think Trump will be reinstated

-For the People (Data for Progress) poll

-Charles C.W. Cooke on critical race theory

-The Sweep

-Jonah’s column

Jun 17, 2021
Mitch Daniels Talks Higher Ed

Purdue University President and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joins Sarah and Steve to talk about the state of higher education in America, wokeness on college campuses, and the national debt. Daniels explains Purdue’s new civics literacy test for all new students at the university, discusses his 2021 commencement speech and bringing back America’s “spirit of adventure,” and chats about riding into the ceremony on a motorized couch.

Show Notes:

-Purdue civics literacy test

-Mitch Daniels’ 2021 commencement speech

-FIRE study on college free speech

-Mitch Daniels rides Couch to Commencement

-Daniels op-ed regarding the national debt

Jun 11, 2021
Biden's Agenda Meets Reality

With President Biden’s domestic agenda breaking down as he heads off on his first foreign trip, the gang talks about what it will take to get anything done in Washington. One person responsible for a great deal of stress for President Biden is Sen. Joe Manchin. Is he helping or hurting the Democrats? Plus, as U.S. forces begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David worry what will take its place. Finally: doom porn. Need we say more?

Show Notes:

-ProPublica tax story

-Politico’s story on Biden and Manchin’s ‘Joemance’

-Cicadas vs. the presidential press plane

-Joe Manchin: Why I'm voting against the For the People Act

-Are We Destined for a Trump Coup in 2024? - Ross Douthat

-Americans Are Dangerously Divided on the Insurrection - William Saletan

Jun 09, 2021
The Origin of Coronavirus

The politicization of the China lab-leak theory has only gotten worse as more and more information surrounding it comes out. To talk about why that is, and the merits of the theory itself, is Josh Rogin of the Washington Post. Rogin has been doggedly reporting on this very subject and even wrote a book about it.

Show Notes:

-Chaos Under Heaven by Josh Rogin

-Josh’s Twitter page

-Josh’s Washington Post page

-Josh’s story on unsafe Wuhan lab

Jun 04, 2021
Our Afghan Interpreters Need More From Us

Last week this podcast talked about Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko scrambling a military jet to force down a Ryanair flight carrying a dissident journalist. Now, as more reporting reveals how involved Russian President Vladimir Putin was, Steve asks whether President Biden should be holding a summit with Putin in a few weeks. Also in the foreign policy vein, Jonah laments the fact that translators who have been helping the U.S. military in the Middle East aren’t able to get the help they need to remain safe. Plus, check out the discussion on the merits of ranked-choice voting and Ezra Klein’s interview with President Barack Obama.

Show Notes:

-Putin summit announcement

-Biden floats sending Iran money after 9/11

-Interpreters may be left behind

-How does ranked-choice voting work?

-TMD on New York City mayor’s race

-Ezra Klien interviews Barack Obama

-Obama’s ‘guns, religion’ line

-Then She Asked Me About Benghazi - Ben Rhodes

Jun 02, 2021
Guns in America

King of the gun beat and founder of The Reload Stephen Gutowski joins Sarah and Steve to talk about all things gun related on today’s episode. The topic of guns induces plenty of passion, and comes with plenty of stereotypes and myths. Stephen, Sarah, and Steve talk about all of that, plus gun culture in America, the politics of guns, the NRA, and more. Stick around to the end to hear what Stephen thinks action movies are getting things wrong about guns.

Show Notes:

-Subscribe to The Reload

-Gun ownership rising

-Gallup historical polling on guns

-We’re out of ammo

-Stephen’s piece for The Dispatch

May 28, 2021
The Politics of Stank

With Biden’s legislative agenda coming up against many roadblocks in Congress, Sarah, Steve, David, and Jonah debate which one of Biden’s main objectives will actually be made into law. Then, the gang explains even though Florida’s new “anti-Big Tech” law is likely to be unconstitutional, it could be a political win for DeSantis and anyone else who hitches their wagon to taking on Big Tech. Also in an extended, well-informed discussion about the violent crime spike, The Dispatch Podcast-ers talk about how we got in this situation, how to get out of it, and the politics of crime. Finally, Putin and leaders in Belarus have taken drastic measures to muzzle a journalist critical of the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and the group discusses whether the threat of nuclear war is warranted to get the journalist back.

Show Notes:

May 26, 2021
GOP Turns on January 6 Commission

After being the only candidate to run against Rep. Elise Stefanik in a bid to replace Rep. Liz Cheney as the No. 3 House GOP leader, Rep. Chip Roy joins Sarah and Steve in this week’s episode. This wide-ranging interview touches on the January 6 commission, how Republican voters perceive the party, the Cheney ousting, and potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates.

May 21, 2021
The Politics of Israel and Palestine

The Israel/Palestine conflict has yet to cool down, but the rhetoric around the ongoing skirmish is heating up in the U.S. The gang talks about the pressure on Biden to help with the situation abroad. Plus, it seems as though a commission to look at the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 might not be getting much GOP support, if any at all. Sarah, Steve, David, and Jonah try to figure out who is to blame for that. David educates everyone on the abortion case the Supreme Court will be hearing, and the gang discusses the debate over the origins of COVID-19.

Show Notes:

-DNC boos Israel language

-January 6 was just a “normal tourist day”

-Pictures of Rep. Clyde blocking the doors into the Capitol

-Advisory Opinions on SCOTUS abortion case

-Historic polling on abortion - Gallup

-How Abortion Views Are Different - David Leonhardt

-Origins of Covid - Following the Clues

-Josh Rogin’s Twitter

-Don McNeil’s Lab Leak Story

May 19, 2021
Liz Cheney Makes Her Case

Minutes after New York Rep. Elise Stefanik was elected the House GOP’s new conference chairwoman, her predecessor, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney joined Sarah and Steve on today’s show to chat about the 2022 midterms, the future of the Republican Party, and the factors that precipitated her ousting from GOP leadership. Tune in to hear Cheney talk to our hosts about her relationships with her colleagues and why she won’t stop pushing back against the former president’s claims that the election was stolen: “Fundamentally for me, at the end of the day, if being on House leadership on the Republican side requires the embrace of that lie, that’s not something I’m willing to participate in.”

May 14, 2021
Republicans Make Their Choice

With so much going on in the news this week, it’s hard to pick one headline. Is it Liz Cheney being ousted from her leadership role for telling the truth? Or the fact that a major oil pipeline was attacked by ransomware? Or maybe the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine heating up and heating up fast? The gang discuss all of those topics and why a rise in independent voters may not actually be a good thing.

Show Notes:

-Cheney speech on the House floor

-Cheney after her removal

-Why more independents is actually bad

-Latest version of “The Sweep”

-“Doom” by Niall Ferguson

-The Remnant with Klon Kitchen

May 13, 2021
House GOP Set to Oust Cheney

With Rep. Liz Cheney’s days as the No. 3 ranking House GOP official numbered, Sarah and Steve are joined by The Dispatch’s own Haley Byrd Wilt and Audrey Fahlberg to talk about what that means for the party. Next Wednesday, the Republican caucus will meet and a vote to oust Cheney is expected to take place. The four lay out what they see happening on Wednesday and what they expect the aftermath may be.

Show Notes:

-Haley’s latest Uphill

-Audrey’s piece from the GOP Orlando retreat

-Elise Stefanik on Steve Bannon’s show

-Ruthless Podcast

-Steve’s piece on the GOP leadership issues

-Liz Cheney’s op-ed in the Washington Post

May 07, 2021
All By Herself

The fight over who is in and who is out within the GOP leadership has reached a boiling point. Rep. Liz Cheney, who survived a vote in February to oust her from her leadership position, may not be there much longer. Sarah and the guys break down what’s happening and how much of a chance Cheney has to survive another attempt to replace her. Also, the special election in Texas shows a weak spot for Democrats, Jonah asks the group if competitiveness even matters in the global economy, and the gang discusses what happens next in the fight against COVID-19 now that the U.S. seems to be hitting a vaccine hesitancy wall.

Show Notes:

-Steve’s piece on GOP leadership fight

-Former President Trump’s statement on Liz Cheney

-Audrey’s piece from the GOP retreat in Orlando

-Texas 6th District special election results

-The Sweep on the Texas 6th special election

-Declan’s piece on cancel culture

-Jonah’s column on the “New New Deal”

-“The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown” - The Atlantic

-Mali woman gives birth to not seven, but nine babies

May 05, 2021
George W. Bush Paints E Pluribus Unum

Former President George W. Bush has done a number of interviews recently to promote his new book, “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants,” but none have covered as many topics as Sarah Isgur and Steve Hayes covered with him on The Dispatch Podcast. President Bush touches on everything from his strategy going into painting a portrait, the impact immigrants have on the United States, the future of the Republican Party, and even President Biden’s massive spending spree in his first 100 days in office.

Show Notes:

-“Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants” by George W. Bush

-Transcript of our interview with former President George W. Bush

Apr 30, 2021
The First 100 Days

Today’s episode starts off talking about every political junkie’s favorite arbitrary threshold, a presidential administration’s first 100 days. Hear what everyone thinks are the Biden administration’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. The gang debates what’s the most important aspect of the John Kerry leaking info to Iran story and how the U.S. Census will affect our politics and our country going forward. Then, stick around to hear if everything has gone to [BLEEP].

Show Notes:

-Vice President Joe “put y’all back in chains” Biden

-President Joe “worse than Jim Crow” Biden

-Biden likes the FDR comparisons

-Iran’s Foreign Minister, in Leaked Tape, Says Revolutionary Guards Set Policies - New York Times

-U.S. Census Report

-TMD on the census

-Advisory Opinions podcast page

-The Remnant podcast page

-Stirewalt’s latest from The Dispatch

-The G.O.P. Is Getting Even Worse - David Brooks

-Latest French Press

-New York Post reporter claims she was forced to write fake story, resigns

Apr 28, 2021
Sentencing Derek Chauvin

Now that Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder, what happens next? Sarah flies solo on today’s podcast in an interview with former United States Attorney in the Office for the Eastern District of Virginia Zach Terwilliger to talk about just that. Sarah and Zach break down all of the legal jargon you may hear about this case and explain what to watch out for next in Derek Chauvin’s sentencing. Plus, Zach offers some advice to all of the wannabe federal prosecutors out there.

Show Notes:

-Zach Terwilliger Bio Page

-Judge in Chauvin case talking about Maxine Waters

-Definitions of manslaughter and degrees of murder

-Minnesota Supreme Court/Chauvin case explainer

-Women’s hockey coach assault case

-Advisory Opinions podcast

-DOJ announcement on Minneapolis PD

-5 Minutes with Michele Roberts

Apr 23, 2021
A Guilty Verdict in Minneapolis

People across the political spectrum had all sorts of different reactions to Officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all three charges in the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Jonah says most of those reactions have been far from encouraging, “While a lot of the right-wing reaction makes me ashamed and embarrassed and infuriated and disgusted … a lot of the left-wing reaction, or a lot of the MSNBC reaction, has been very bad, too.” Plus, the gang also discusses Biden’s plan to withdraw from Afghanistan and how the news of Officer Brian Sicknick’s cause of death will affect the history of January 6, and Chris Stirewalt explains the Cook Political Report’s new Partisan Voter Index.

Show Notes:

-Derek Chauvin found guilty

-The 1619 Project

-David’s French Press on racism in America, adopting a black daughter

-President Biden’s remarks on withdrawing from Afghanistan

-Latest casualty status from the Defense Department

-Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voter Index

-Latest Sweep from Sarah, Chris, and Andrew

-Officer Brian Sicknick dies of stroke

-Sohrab Ahmari’s tweet on January 6

Apr 21, 2021
Jesus and Evangelical Politics

Sarah and David (who is stepping in for Steve this week) talk to the author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Kristin Du Mez, about how the definition of masculinity for white Evangelical men has had a damaging impact on the whole country. “Once you have the eyes to see this, it’s hard not to see its pervasive reach,” she said. “The politics and the faith are so intertwined, and that’s what I try to pull through, those threads, and see how the influence really does go back and forth.” Plus, find out what friendly, neighborhood, sweater-wearing, former PBS television star is surprisingly not impressive to the mainstream Evangelical community.

Show Notes:

-Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation

-Kristin’s Blog “The Anxious Bench”

-Kristin’s next book on Christian femininity announcement

-Kristin’s Twitter

-Donald Trump riding a velociraptor

-Kristin’s Faculty page at Calvin University

-“A Man For All Seasons”

Apr 16, 2021
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine on Hold

This week, the FDA decided to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following reports that six women—of the nearly 7 million Americans who have received the J&J vaccine—developed serious blood clots after getting the jab. Is pausing the vaccine worth the tradeoffs? Will the FDA’s move fuel vaccine hesitancy? Sarah, David, Chris and Jonah give us the scoop. Today, our hosts also chat about New York Times columnist Ross Douthat’s latest piece on what Bidenism owes to Trumpism, the GOP’s First Amendment retribution against woke corporations, and what Democratic pollsters have learned from their poor electoral forecasting leading up to the 2020 election.

Show Notes:

-“What Bidenism Owes to Trumpism,” by Ross Douthat in the New York Times.

-“Confronting 2016 and 2020 Polling Limitations” by Pew Research Center.

-“How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donations” by Shane Goldmacher in the New York Times.

Apr 14, 2021
The Treasure of the Scout Mindset

Are you a “scout” or a “soldier”? What do those terms even mean? In Julia Galef’s new book, The Scout Mindset, she argues the scout mindset is underrepresented in today’s world. “The scout’s role, unlike the soldier, is not to go out and attack or defend,” she says. “It’s to go out, and see what’s really out there as clearly as possible and to put together as accurate a map of the territory or a situation as you can.” Plus, listen closely for Steve’s John McLaughlin impression and why Julia believes bouncing between Airbnbs is way better than signing an actual lease.

Show Notes:

-“The Scout Mindset” by Julia Galef

-Rationally Speaking Podcast

-Julia Galef on Twitter

-Julia’s TED Talk

-The Dispatch Manifesto

-Dr. Tom Gilovich

-Julia’s Twitter thread about Airbnbs

-Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Apr 09, 2021
Defining Infrastructure

If it’s a day that ends in “Y” in Washington, it’s probably a day during “infrastructure week.” The gang talks about President Biden’s infrastructure bill and debates whether or not it’s fair to call it an “infrastructure” bill. Plus, what should the U.S. do about the continued aggression coming from China and Russia, and the differences in voting laws in Georgia and Colorado. Finally, the controversy surrounding a 60 Minutes piece on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and whether or not “media bias” is the worst it’s ever been.

Show Notes:

-POLITICO’s Playbook on infrastructure

-What is Starlink?

-TMD on Russian aggression in Ukraine

-Danielle Pletka’s latest for The Dispatch on Chinese aggression towards Australia

-Oriana Skylar Mastro on The Remnant

-The Washington Post Editorial on boycotting the Olympics

-Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia/Colorado voting laws comparison

-60 Minutes and Gov. Ron DeSantis - Poynter

-Trump donors - The New York Times

-“Why Being ‘Anti-Media’ Is Now Part Of The GOP Identity” - FiveThirtyEight

Apr 07, 2021
Mick Mulvaney and the Reasonable Nutjobs

In a wide-ranging conversation spanning from his time working in the Trump White House, to his early days as a leader in the House Freedom Caucus (which we learned was supposed to be called the “Reasonable Nutjob Caucus), Mick Mulvaney talks with Sarah and Steve about his life in politics. During the conversation, Mulvaney opines on John Boehner’s new book, what being chief of staff is actually like, whether or not he would have voted to impeach Donald Trump after January 6 and more. Plus, stick around for some tough questions from his fellow South Carolinian Trey Gowdy.

Show Notes:

-Mick Mulvaney on Twitter

-John Boehner’s book excerpt from Politico

-If He Loses, Trump Will Concede Gracefully - WSJ

-Indiana Jones character or Mick Mulvaney?

Apr 02, 2021
Infrastructure Push and Bumpy Roads

President Biden introduced a massive $2 trillion infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh, and the gang is wondering what type of fight the GOP is going to put up against the bill. Steve asks, “You’d think this might be something Republicans would object to and fight pretty strongly. Are you getting the sense that Republicans will do that?” To hear everyone’s dejected response to that question, just hit the play button. Other topics discussed are whether or not vaccine passports are a good idea, the first rumblings of 2024 presidential politics, and, finally, religion in America and what the growing number of “nones” means for the country’s future.

Show Notes:

-The latest version of The Sweep (read the whole thing!)

-Politico polling on infrastructure plan

-Israel’s vaccine passport protocols

-Echelon Insights 2024 presidential polling

-U.S. church membership falls below majority for first time - Gallup

Mar 31, 2021
Coronavirus, Variants, and Vaccines

We heard from many of you that you are having trouble persuading people close to you to take the COVID vaccine. You wished there was something you could pass along to people with the actual facts about the vaccine, not scary myths about why a person should not get it. You asked, and we listened. Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden joined Sarah and Andrew Egger (subbing in for Steve) to discuss all things vaccine related. Not only is Frieden an expert on the COVID vaccines, but also on listening to those who are concerned about taking it and trying to give them the scientific facts that support getting the shot. As he says, “Effective communication starts with listening. … I understand your concern, but I’ll share with you some information that may be helpful to you.”

Show Notes:

-Dr. Frieden’s bio

-Resolve to Save Lives website

-Pew Research polling on who would get the vaccine

-Frank Luntz focus group with Dr. Frieden

-Impact COVID has had on the flu

-Dr. Frieden’s guide to a bike trip with his son

-VaccineFinder from CDC’s website

Mar 26, 2021
The World as It Is

This week (so far) we have seen a mass shooting, a crisis at the border, a major walkback from President Trump’s favorite lawyer, Sidney Powell, and more. On today’s Dispatch Podcast, Steve, Sarah, Jonah, and David talk about all of it and then some. Gun violence has been front and center in the news, and rather than yelling about it, the gang has a well-informed, meaningful discussion about how best to solve this problem in the U.S. Plus, after discussing the border and China, all four talk about just how ridiculous the motion by Sidney Powell to dismiss the case against her is and what it means for center-right media. As Jonah puts it, “If you gave her a platform on your network, on your radio show, either in person or by proxy or simply reading their stuff and then you don’t tell your audience that this woman … has treated you all like suckers … then you’re part of the problem.”

Show Notes:

-Study on effectiveness of state gun regulations

-American Psychological Association study on gun laws

-Washington Post Fact Check on 1994 assault weapons ban

-Reuters article on how and why kids are “smuggled” into the U.S.

-Is there a “surge” at the border? Washington Post looks at the data

-Jonah’s column on the China bilateral meeting

-Last week’s Dispatch Podcast with Danielle Pletka

-The Morning Dispatch: ‘The Kraken is Backtrackin’

-Court filing in Sidney Powell’s case

-Major Biden is BACK

Mar 24, 2021
Speak Loudly and Carry No Stick?

Danielle Pletka, senior fellow and foreign policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss all things foreign policy. The conversation starts with the fiasco that was the first bilateral meeting between the Biden administration and China, and then focuses on Pletka’s expertise related to foreign policy in the Middle East. The three also discuss Danielle’s recent piece for The Dispatch, a conversation she had with a Ph.D. candidate who was imprisoned in Iran for four years.

Show Notes:

-Danielle’s AEI page

-“What the Hell is Going On?” podcast

-Biden Administration/China bilateral fiasco

-Biden/Putin spat

-‘They Wasted Away Four Years of My Life’

-“How Mean Tweets—And Bad Predictions—Threaten to Derail Another Biden Nominee”

-Profile of Xiyue Wang by Graeme Wood

-“Internal Biden memo said to back 2-state solution along 1967 lines” - Times of Israel

Mar 19, 2021
Migrant Surge at the Border

In a St. Patrick’s Day edition of The Dispatch Podcast, Sarah, Steve, Scott, and Declan start off today’s discussion with the ongoing migrant crisis at the border. Plus, the gang explains how while most of the conservative world was talking about Dr. Seuss and Pepe le Pew, Democrats jammed through the biggest advancement of the welfare state since LBJ’s administration. Scott points out, “When you really dig into the details you see Democrats laying the groundwork for a very substantial increase in the welfare state, and in ways that Democrats have long wanted.” And, what’s the fallout after a Biden administration official actually spoke strongly against the North Korean regime?

Show Notes:

-The latest GOP attack on Biden has a huge hole in it - Greg Sargent/Washington Post

-Four people matching terror watchlist arrested at border - Axios

-'Migrant president' Biden stirs Mexican angst over boom time for gangs - Reuters

-Leaked NRSC polling data on immigration

-Scott’s latest Capitolism newsletter

-Conservatives Drift Leftward in the Plan to Rescue America - Ryan Streeter

-Biden officials comments on North Korea

-Biden Risks Repeating Mistakes of the Past if He Ignores the Evidence on Iran - The Dispatch

-Declan’s TMD item on filibuster reform

-Scott’s “Gridlock is good!” newsletter

-The Dispatch March Madness Tournament

Mar 17, 2021
Always. Be. Shilling.

For the first time on The Dispatch Podcast, author of the Capitolism newsletter and neoliberal shill extraordinaire Scott Lincicome joins Sarah and Declan. On topics ranging from free-market fundamentalism to the crazy world of semiconductors, Scott brings his expertise to break it all down. As he says on today’s episode, “You know, Glengarry Glen Ross? It’s Always. Be. Shilling. … I will literally make any issue about trade and markets. It doesn’t matter what, whether it’s the chicken sandwich wars … or cheap T-shirts.” To cap it off, Scott speaks to being the reigning champion of the “Neoliberalism Shill'' tournament.

Show Notes:

-“Capitolism” newsletter

-Scott’s Cato bio

-Scott’s Twitter profile

-Scott’s latest Cato paper “Manufactured Crisis”

-Declan’s piece on semiconductors in TMD

-Scott’s article on semiconductors

-Vote your conscience in this year’s Neoliberal Shill Tournament

Mar 12, 2021
The Battle Over H.R. 1

Congressional Democrats’ omnibus voting rights, campaign finance, and ethics bill, H.R. 1—also known as the “For the People Act”—passed in the House last week, and our hosts are here for the breakdown. Stay tuned to hear the gang chat about retirements in the GOP Senate, whether arguments about cancel culture are trumping more substantive public policy debates, and a surprise tabloid-y topic you won’t want to miss!

Show Notes:

-Democrats’ For the People Act and Republicans’ Save Democracy Act.

Mar 10, 2021
The Once and Future Right

The Dispatch’s associate editor and Morning Dispatch guru Declan Garvey joins Sarah to ask Oren Cass what his mission is with American Compass, a center-right organization of which he is the executive director. Cass thinks it’s time the conservative movement reforms itself and he is trying to do so from within. Cass says, “What has been missing from American politics and policy making is a conservatism that takes seriously the ways that public policy could really take on and address failures in our markets and things that are not going well in the economy.” Chief among the issues debated in this episode is Sen. Mitt Romney’s new child allowance proposal. The trio also discusses what Donald Trump’s lasting legacy will be in the Republican Party, and what it would mean for the party if he won again.

Show Notes:

-American Compass website

-“The Once and Future Worker” by Oren Cass

-Sen. Mitt Romney’s child allowance plan

-Oren Cass’ op-ed in the New York Times

Mar 05, 2021
The Politics of Relief

The Senate is set to debate the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package this week, and today the gang talks about the politics of getting it passed. Steve posits the administration’s strategy is more focused on public opinion, rather than what Republicans want: “They say ‘we care about bipartisanship outside the beltway, not inside the beltway.’” Along with the relief bill, the group discusses the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and debates whether an “endless war” in the country is a good idea or a bad one. Jonah and Sarah disagree on how important voting actually is. And finally, some good old-fashioned election punditry. The hosts talk about the strategy memo that came out from the GOP on how to retake the House in 2022.

Show Notes:

-The Remnant with Michael Strain

-Morning Consult polling on COVID stimulus

-“Last Exit From Afghanistan” by Dexter Firkins

-SCOTUSblog write up of the Arizona voting rights case

-House GOP 2022 strategy memo

-Democratic Party autopsy - New York magazine

Mar 03, 2021
Coronavirus and the Return to Normalcy

Is the Biden administration bungling their Covid-19 and vaccine messaging? As Steve put it to Jonah, “It’s awfully cynical of you to suggest that what they’re doing is withholding information because they want to pass their emergency relief bill, and you’re absolutely right to be that cynical.” Also up for discussion: why Xavier Becerra should have been the Biden nominee to have gotten the Neera Tanden treatment instead of Neera Tanden, U.S. relations with Iran and why Republicans who are not Trump loyalists cannot simply turn into Democrats.

Show Notes:

-The Case Against Xavier Becerra - The Dispatch’s David French

-Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail - Jonathan Chait

-What about Joe? - Bill Kristol

Feb 25, 2021
Mitt Romney Has a Plan

Hot off of his latest policy proposal, Sen. Mitt Romney joins the podcast to discuss his and Sen. Tom Cotton’s plan to raise the minimum wage, a proposal that also mandates that businesses use E-verify to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers. Sarah asks him about partisanship in the Senate, what he thinks of the current state of the Republican Party, and whether he’ll start a third party. He said, “There’s no question I’m in the minority of the Republican party these days. … A lot of people talk about ‘Why don’t you start a third party?’ That’s just not realistic.” Then, the gang breaks down the interview. Everyone agrees that it’s nice to finally be talking about policy again. They also explore why Romney (and some others) is committed to staying in the Republican Party.

Show Notes:

-Romney’s Office Press Release - Minimum Wage Plan

-Is It Time for the Republican Party to Split Apart? - The Dispatch’s Declan Garvey

Feb 24, 2021
China and the Uighur Genocide

In a call with European foreign ministers on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said he would begin steps to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that was abandoned by the Trump administration. Today’s guest, Tom Josclelyn, thinks a series of upfront concessions to Tehran before the country’s leaders even come to the negotiating table would be an unwise foreign policy move for the Biden administration. “I’ve taken to calling it ‘servile diplomacy’ because it is very much from a submissive position,”Joscelyn tells Sarah and Steve. Tune in to hear our hosts’ take on China’s ongoing genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang, and the latest rocket attack on a U.S. airbase in Iraq.

Show Notes:

-“Biden Administration Formally Offers to Restart Nuclear Talks With Iran” by Lara Jakes, Michael Crowley, David E. Sanger and Farnaz Fassihi in the New York Times.

-“Biden dismisses Uighur genocide as part of China’s ‘different norms’” by Emily Jacobs in the New York Post.

-“‘Genocide’ is the wrong word for the horrors of Xinjiang” by the Economist.

-Tom Joscelyn’s Vital Interests newsletter.

Feb 19, 2021
The Grapes of Play-Acting

At the beginning of the pandemic, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York drew ire from lawmakers of all political stripes for sending COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes. But resentment against the governor reached a tipping point in late January, when New York Attorney General Letitia James released a blistering report showing that his office significantly underreported the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. Cuomo has brushed aside those criticisms as a partisan smear campaign, and went so far as to write a book bragging about his leadership during the pandemic. “What is unforgivable, and really, frankly, kind of evil is this alleged covering up of what they did,” Jonah says on today’s show. Tune in to hear the gang chat about K-12 school reopening efforts, the Senate’s acquittal of Donald Trump, and Tim Alberta’s Nikki Haley piece in Politico. Stick around to hear our hosts chat about their Myers Briggs test results.

Show Notes:

-American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic by Andrew Cuomo.

-“Nikki Haley’s Time for Choosing” by Tim Alberta in Politico.

Feb 18, 2021
Children, Classrooms, and Coronavirus

President Joe Biden has recently drawn ire from GOP lawmakers for lagging behind his stated goal of getting K-12 children back into the classroom for in-person instruction. Liesl Hickey, a partner at Ascent Media and co-founder of N2 America, joins the show to chat with Sarah and Steve about teachers unions, remote learning’s effect on student well-being, and whether the NRSC will play a bigger role in GOP primaries during the next election cycle.

Show Notes:

-“Remote learning failed my third-grader miserably. I pulled her out of public school.” by Liesl Hickey in USA Today.

-“Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen” by Erica L. Green in The New York Times.

Feb 12, 2021
Anatomy of an Impeachment Trial

We’re on day two of the Senate’s second impeachment trial of Donald Trump and our hosts are here for the breakdown. On Tuesday, the House impeachment managers released a video montage of January 6 in an effort to tie former President Trump’s rhetoric and words to the storming of the Capitol. “[The video] had in many ways the effect that displaying a crime scene photograph has on a criminal trial,” David explains. “It tried to make it real again.” Tune in to hear Sarah and the guys chat about the constitutionality of impeachment, the mechanics of the trial, and the persuasiveness of Trump’s defense team. Stick around to hear our hosts chat about what National Pizza Day means to them.

Show Notes:

-Senate Impeachment Trial: House Managers’ January 6 Video Montage.

-French Press: The Impeachment Trial Vote Will Set a Precedent. Make It the Right One.” by David French in The Dispatch.

-Brandenburg v. Ohio

-“McConnell Signals Trump Conviction Is a GOP Conscience Vote” by Jennifer Jacobs in Bloomberg.

-“The Constitution Doesn’t Bar Trump’s Impeachment Trial” by Chuck Cooper in the Wall Street Journal.

Feb 10, 2021
No Ragrets

Former Fox News Decision Desk team member Chris Stirewalt joins Sarah, Steve and Jonah to chat about GOP leadership members' struggle to police their own. Stick around for a chat about Joe Biden’s foreign policy agenda, Stirewalt’s take on why “the way America is getting its news is not working for America,” and … lima beans! And also for a very special announcement.

Show Notes:

-“How Kevin McCarthy fought off a party revolt” by Melanie Zanona in Politico.

Feb 06, 2021
Right Thing for the Right Reasons

On the coronavirus stimulus package front, Biden has refused to compromise on his commitment to sending $1,400 checks to Americans. Is it wise for the president to push such a bill through Congress in spite of Republican opposition? As Steve argues on today’s episode, “If Joe Biden’s intransigence this early is pissing off people like Rob Portman and Anthony Gonzalez, that’s a tough place.” Also on the menu for today: GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy’s intra-party spats with Rep. Liz Cheney, the media’s obsessive fixation on Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and the United Kingdom’s decision to welcome Hong Kong citizens.

Show Notes:

-“The Challenge of Going It Alone” by Amy Walter in the Cook Political Report.

-“An Interview With Sen. Rob Portman” by Steve Hayes in The Dispatch.

-“Can We Have (Another) Conversation About Cancel Culture?” by David French in The Dispatch.

-“Republicans Are Playing a Risky Game in Elevating QAnon” by Jonah Goldberg in The Dispatch.

-“The GOP’s Conspiracy Theorist Problem” by Audrey Fahlberg in The Dispatch.

Feb 03, 2021
One of Ten

Ohio Representative Anthony Gonzalez was one of only 10 GOP House members who voted for President Trump’s second impeachment, and he’s faced quite a bit of backlash from his constituents for doing so. “In the long arc of history, I believe it was the right vote, and I believe it sends the right message,” Congressman Gonzalez tells Sarah and Steve on today’s show. But Gonzalez still fears for the future of his party, especially considering most Republican voters still believe the election was stolen: “I don’t know how to govern in a world where we believe things that aren’t real.” Tune in to hear Gonzalez talk about social media censorship, our country’s crisis of leadership, and his former NFL career playing for the Indianapolis Colts.

Show Notes:

-Take our podcast survey

Jan 29, 2021
Was That Wrong?

Biden administration folks are claiming they inherited a nonexistent coronavirus vaccine rollout plan from the Trump administration, with one anonymous administration official going so far as to tell CNN last week that the team will “have to build everything from scratch,” a claim that even top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci later disputed as patently false. Joe Biden spent months on the campaign trail criticizing Trump for deliberately misleading the public. Is his administration now falling into the same trap? “It’s a meaningful stumble,” Steve says on today’s podcast, “and I think they got caught basically misleading the public about the status of the vaccine program.” After Sarah and the guys chat about vaccine distribution logistics, they discuss Trump’s upcoming second impeachment trial, the media and its rewriting of history, and the latest drama with former DOJ officials in the Trump administration.

Show Notes:

-“Come on, President Biden. Set some loftier COVID vaccination goals” by Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times.

-“Biden inheriting nonexistent coronavirus vaccine distribution plan and must start 'from scratch,' sources say,” by CNN’s MJ Lee.

-“The Washington Post Tried To Memory-Hole Kamala Harris' Bad Joke About Inmates Begging for Food and Water” by Eric Boehm in Reason.

-The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project.

-“Send In the Troops” by Sen. Tom Cotton in the New York Times.

-Take our podcast survey

Jan 27, 2021
The Next Four Years

Will Joe Biden’s governing strategy be effective? “I don’t think Biden has ever been driven on ideological issues, what he’s driven on is keeping his party together,” NBC’s Chuck Todd tells Sarah and Steve on today’s episode. “There is a part of me that says Biden can be the Reagan for Democrats.” How does the filibuster fit into the president’s call for unity? Is Joe Biden really a centrist? What role will Kamala Harris play in this administration? Todd answers all of these questions and more. Stick around for their thoughts on the Democrats’ $15 minimum wage proposal, the future of immigration reform, Biden’s relationship with Congress, and the evolution of cable news over the years.

Show Notes:

-“Biden's centrist words, liberal actions” by Dion Rabouin, Courtenay Brown, and Jennifer A. Kingson in Axios.

-Take our podcast survey

Jan 22, 2021
America's Next Chapter

Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. He assumes office at one of the darkest moments in United States history, when a global pandemic has taken the lives of more than 400,000 Americans and rampant polarization continues to test our nation’s character. Did his inaugural address meet the moment? Was his call for unity too idealistic? On today’s episode, our hosts discuss Biden’s day one executive orders and the once and future Republican Party before breaking down today’s inauguration ceremony, speech and all.

Show Notes:

-“Biden's Two Tasks: Repairing Deep Divisions and Defeating a Deadly Disease” by David French in The Dispatch.

-Take our podcast survey

Jan 21, 2021
Mr. Meijer Goes to Washington

“I was proud that after the assault on the Capitol, we were back in the chambers a few hours later,” freshman GOP Rep. Peter Meijer from Michigan’s 3rd District tells Sarah and Steve on today’s episode. “There was someone’s blood drying, right? And we’re going back to work to send the message that our constitutional process—it got erupted—but you’re not gonna scare us away.” Rep. Meijer—who holds Justin Amash’s old seat—joined today’s show to discuss what it was like certifying the Electoral College vote, evacuating the House chamber on January 6 amid the Capitol siege, and undergoing impeachment proceedings just days after being sworn into office.

Jan 15, 2021
A President's Final Days

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Rep. Liz Cheney late Tuesday afternoon. “Everything that followed was his doing.” This week, our hosts discuss the brewing showdown over impeachment between Cheney—the House’s No.3 Republican—and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. How does one party accommodate vastly different levels of acquiescence to a rogue president? What is the value of impeachment and conviction over censure? Should the president be pardoned after conviction in a concession to Republicans? To David, one thing is clear: “He needs to be so thoroughly defeated in the here and now that there is no possibility of a later,” he says. “He has to be deplatformed, he has to be defeated, and he has to be discredited.”

Show Notes:

-Take our podcast survey

-Amazon filing in response to Parler’s lawsuit, citing violent content

-Rep. Liz Cheney’s statement in support of impeachment

-Video from Capitol Hill riot

Jan 13, 2021
Almost Inevitable

Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to Donald Trump’s election-related conspiracy-mongering in the weeks since November 3. Politico’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta has been interacting with Trump supporters for months now and joins today’s show to explain why Wednesday’s Capitol siege was almost inevitable: “What we saw at every step of the way was a coordinated and deliberate campaign” by the president, high ranking Republicans, and far-right media personalities “to deceive the American public,” Alberta tells Sarah and Steve.

Show Notes:

-“Jan. 6 Was 9 Weeks — And 4 Years — in the Making” by Tim Alberta in Politico.

-American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump by Tim Alberta.

Jan 08, 2021
No Such Thing as Rock Bottom

Was Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by Trump rally-goers inevitable? Should President Trump be impeached? Where does the Republican Party go from here? Our staff members have been warning about the dangers of Trumpism long before The Dispatch was launched in October 2019. But as David says, “never has vindication felt so miserable.” After all, as he points out, “the vindication was while the republic was under direct attack.” On today’s episode, Sarah and the guys break down the series of events that led to yesterday’s violence. Andrew and Audrey join the show to discuss their on-the-ground reporting at the Capitol on Wednesday, where they spent all day interviewing rally attendees.

Show Notes:

-“The Storming of the Capitol” by Andrew Egger and Audrey Fahlberg in The Dispatch.

-“Impeach Donald Trump, Remove Him, and Bar Him From Holding Office Ever Again” by The Dispatch staff.

-“We in the ‘shallow state’ thought we could help. Instead, we obscured the reality of a Trump presidency.” by Sarah Isgur in the Washington Post.

-“A Day at the Million MAGA March” by Audrey Fahlberg in The Dispatch.

-“If He Loses, Trump Will Concede Gracefully,” by Mick Mulvaney in the Wall Street Journal.

Jan 08, 2021
Sitting Here on Capitol Hill

House Democrats are heading into next year with the slimmest majority either party has seen in two decades. How might this shape intra-party relations among Democrats moving forward? “The new dynamic will force Democratic leaders to change their tactics, both in drafting bills and in reining in the rank and file,” Haley Byrd Wilt writes in her debut piece for the website. Haley joined Sarah and Steve on today’s show to forecast these shifting dynamics as we approach the 117th Congress. Stick around for a breakdown of the latest drama in the House Republican conference, Donald Trump’s NDAA veto threat, and whether Congress can avert a government shutdown.

Show Notes:

-“Democrats Grapple With Slim House Majority” by Haley Byrd Wilt in The Dispatch.

Dec 18, 2020
Somebody's Wrong Online

In the weeks following November 3, a surprising number of state Republican parties have made it their mission to attack any high ranking GOP officials in their state who have certified or somehow acknowledged Joe Biden’s electoral victory over President Trump. How will this GOP infighting play out over the next few months? Declan joins Sarah, David, and Jonah on today’s show to discuss his new piece on the site explaining this strange phenomenon, with a close look at Arizona and Georgia in particular. Stick around to hear our hosts discuss the 2021 races they are keeping an eye on, all things Hunter Biden, and Joseph Epstein’s controversial Wall Street Journal op-ed about Jill Biden.

Show Notes:

-“Begun, the GOP Civil War Has” by Declan Garvey in The Dispatch.

-“Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” by Joseph Epstein in the Wall Street Journal.

Dec 16, 2020
Mess with Texas?

How might the Supreme Court respond to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit contesting the results of the election? Why did so many House members and state attorneys general file amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit? Is Paxton’s legal effort just a political stunt? On today’s episode, Sarah and Steve are joined by Ilya Shapiro—director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review—for the breakdown.

Show Notes:

-Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s new lawsuit against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

-106 House Republicans sign amicus brief supporting Texas lawsuit and Chip Roy’s tweet thread explaining why he will not join Texas’s lawsuit.

Dec 11, 2020

The Supreme Court denied injunctive relief on Tuesday to Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly in a one-sentence order that unceremoniously ended the Republican lawmaker’s bid to overturn his state’s election results. “What distinguished this case was it actually had an interesting question of law in it,” David argues on today’s show, in reference to the Pennsylvania state legislature’s alleged violation of the state’s constitution in 2019. That Rep. Kelly brought this lawsuit after the presidential election was another question entirely, David concedes, as was Kelly’s requested remedy. On the menu for the rest of today’s episode: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s new Supreme Court election lawsuit, Biden’s latest Cabinet picks, and the origins of “believe-Trump-no-matter-what” syndrome among once-respected GOP figures.

Show Notes:

-Supreme Court’s one-sentence order denying injunctive relief to Rep. Mike Kelly.

-Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s new lawsuit against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

-University of California-Irvine law professor Richard Hasen’s December 8 blog post on the Paxton lawsuit’s legal shortcomings.

Dec 09, 2020
Politics is a Complicated Profession

After Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling asked GOP lawmakers to tone down the unsubstantiated claims of vote fraud in his state earlier this week, the Trump campaign shared a 90-second video on Twitter alleging another Georgia related election conspiracy theory. “Video footage from Georgia shows suitcases filled with ballots pulled from under a table AFTER supervisors told poll workers to leave room and 4 people stayed behind to keep counting votes,” the tweet said. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and other GOP figures have since demanded a signature audit of the presidential election in the Peach State.

Where do we go from here? Sterling joined Sarah and Steve on today’s episode to debunk election conspiracy theories about his state and offer a pathway forward for the GOP. “To me, this is the playbook that was run by Stacey Abrams in 2018 in Georgia,” Sterling tells Steve and Sarah of the Trump campaign’s claim that the election was rigged.

Show Notes:

-90 second clip of Georgia election conspiracy theory shared by the campaign on Thursday and Lin Wood’s rally on Wednesday excoriating Gabriel Sterling.

Dec 04, 2020
It Was Always Going to End This Way

During an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr said that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” In what seems to be a clever attempt to appease the president, Barr also said during the interview that he had appointed John Durham as special counsel to investigate the Russia-Trump probe in October. Will news of Durham’s appointment appease Republicans? Is there a legal defect in the Durham appointment? Sarah and the guys give us the breakdown. On today’s episode, our podcast hosts also analyze Trump’s election litigation madness, the ethics of COVID-19 vaccine prioritization, and last week’s killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Show Notes:

-Attorney General Bill Barr’s interview with the Associated Press.

-“As Trump Rages, Voters in a Key County Move On: ‘I’m Not Sweating It’ ” by Elaina Plott in the New York Times.

-Statement from Sen. Ted Cruz urging SCOTUS to hear the Pennsylvania election challenge.

Dec 02, 2020
Finding a Common Goal

Charles Koch and Brian Hooks joined Sarah and David to discuss their new book, Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World, which is about social entrepreneurship, the principles of human progress, and empowering people to discover their gifts. On today’s show, Koch and Hooks explain how finding common ground with people across the ideological spectrum has helped reorient their approach to public policy reform as it relates to the criminal justice system, education, and more.

Show Notes:

-Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World by Charles G. Koch and Brian Hooks.

-Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies by Charles Koch.

-After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom by Alice Marie Johnson with Nancy French.

Nov 20, 2020
Ironic Crayons

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were in the hot seat again on Tuesday, answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members about the policing of misinformation and controversial speech on their platforms. The biggest takeaway from the hearing? Both political parties want to regulate Big Tech, but for very different reasons. As David argues, it’s not just that liberals want more censorship and conservatives want less of it. “It’s that liberals want Big Tech censorship in exactly the areas where conservatives want less censorship,” especially as it pertains to hate speech and disinformation. Is there any room for compromise in the war against big tech? Our podcast hosts break it down in layman’s terms. Also on today’s episode: an update on COVID-19’s third wave, Biden’s Cabinet picks, and Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election.

Show Notes:

-Reuters poll on Republicans’ perception of election.

Nov 18, 2020
All the President's Conspiracies

Is the Republican Party in the midst of a policy wasteland? Today’s guest, Ben Ginsberg, surely thinks so. According to Ginsberg, who is perhaps the most prominent Republican election lawyer of our time, the future of the GOP rests on its ability to transform its policy agenda into one that appeals to minorities and women. “If [the GOP] can avoid the circular firing squad and instead concentrate on positive policy ideas to appeal to voters,” Ginsberg warns, then “there is a chance for the resurrection of the party.” Stick around for a conversation about our democracy’s nonexistent voter fraud problem and the GOP’s concerted effort to restrict access to the polls.

Show Notes:

-“My party is destroying itself on the altar of Trump,” by Ben Ginsberg in the Washington Post.

Nov 13, 2020
Purging the Pentagon

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper got the boot on Monday in a characteristic Twitter announcement from President Trump. Esper’s sudden dismissal was accompanied by a firing spree of numerous other Pentagon officials who were quickly replaced with Trump loyalists, raising a lot of questions and alarm bells in D.C.’s national security bubble. Sarah and the guys break down competing theories that have tried to dissect what the Pentagon purge is all about. According to David, “the moves only really make sense in the context of planning for a second term.” Tune in for a discussion of emerging arguments surrounding the future of the GOP, ongoing election lawsuits, and the conspiratorial trajectory of conservative media.

Show Notes:

-The Dispatch Fact Check.

Nov 11, 2020
Let's Talk About Facts

Does a video show someone burning ballots with votes for Trump? No. Did Michigan ‘magically’ find 138,339 votes for Joe Biden? Nope. What about Wisconsin? Did voter turnout exceed the number of registered voters in the state? A thousand times no. But tight vote counts in battleground states have laid the perfect groundwork for election disinformation to explode online over the past few days. As Steve points out, some bad actors on social media and cable news simply “don’t care whether what they’re saying is actually true.” But not to worry, Dispatch fact checkers Alec Dent and Khaya Himmelman—along with staff writer Andrew Egger—join the podcast today to debunk conspiracy theories surrounding election fraud so you don’t have to.

Show Notes:

-Join The Dispatch for a post-election gathering featuring congressional leadership and top policy experts November 9-10: Sign up here!

-Click here for all of our latest fact checks.

-“Biden Had No Election Coattails,” by Karl Rove.

Nov 07, 2020
The Long Road to 270

Minutes before 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the president took to Twitter to claim victory in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. The president also said he “hereby [claims]” Michigan “if, in fact,... there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” The president and his closest allies are also alleging that late-arriving votes are evidence of fraud. What should we make of all this? “This is the president of the United States acting like a Third World dictator,” Steve says on today's episode. “It’s complete nonsense. It’s made up. The only rhyme or reason to what he’s doing is he wants to count votes that he thinks are his and disqualify votes that he thinks are not.” On today’s show, our podcast hosts dissect this year’s polling catastrophe, where their electoral predictions went sour, and what our country might look like in January 2021.

Show Notes:

-Jonah’s Wednesday G-File: “The Most Chaotic Timeline,” The Sweep: “Your 2020 Election Night Guide,” The Morning Dispatch: “It Ain't Over Till It's Over.”

-Join The Dispatch for a post-election gathering featuring congressional leadership and top policy experts November 9-10: Sign up here!

Nov 05, 2020
It All Leads to This

What do Republican lawmakers want the Republican party to look like in a post-Trump era? “There’s a great fear of one scenario which is that Donald Trump loses in a race that is extremely tight,” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan tells Sarah and Steve on today’s show. “In that scenario, it would be much more difficult for elected Republicans to disown Trumpism and make the case that this was an aberrant cancer that needs to be excised.” Tune in for a discussion of Trump’s spending problem, the state of the polling industry, and what to expect from a Biden administration.

Show Notes:

- Join The Dispatch for a post-election gathering featuring congressional leadership and top policy experts November 9-10: Sign up here!

- Preview of Jonathan Swan’s HBO interview with Sen. Ted Cruz.

Oct 30, 2020
Closing Arguments

The idea that Joe Biden will somehow heal America in a post-Trump era has become the closing argument of the Democratic candidate’s campaign. Will Biden’s “return to normalcy” pitch constrain his presidency? There’s a lot of ill will festering among congressional Democrats over coronavirus relief negotiations and the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Assuming post-Election Day Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, will Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi pull Biden further left? Our podcast hosts are here for the breakdown. With less than a week until Election Day, Sarah and the guys discuss both presidential candidates’ closing rally schedules, ongoing election litigation, and whether Mitch McConnell is the real savior of the Trump years. 

Show Notes:

-Tim Alberta and Chris Stirewalt on the Remnant, David’s French Press: “The Curse of ‘Pandemic Law’ Strikes the Electoral Process,” today’s Morning Dispatch: “Election Litigationpalooza,” and “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk” by Josh Katz and Wilson Andrews in the New York Times.

Oct 28, 2020
The Science of Politics

Is the presidential race where the polls say it is? What might pollsters be missing this election cycle? Is there a scenario in which Biden wins the electoral college handedly and Republicans somehow hold the Senate? Polls suggest that Republican senators’ reelection odds aren’t looking too sunny in Maine, Colorado, and Arizona. But what about Republican Senator Thom Tillis in North Carolina? “Everything comes down to whether a late breaking sex scandal in North Carolina can preserve a seat that Republicans a few weeks ago thought was lost,” says Josh Kraushaar, National Journal’s senior national political columnist, on today’s episode. “Ultimately, they’re hoping on a Democratic blunder on the last month of the campaign to save the Senate.” Join Sarah, Steve and Josh for a conversation about prospective voter turnout, party infighting on both sides of the aisle, and the senators who are distancing themselves from Trump to save the Senate.

Show Notes:

-The Economist’s presidential election forecast, “Republicans learn the benefits of diversity … the hard way” by Josh Kraushaar in National Journal, McCarthy locking up support despite fears of GOP losses” by Melanie Zanona and John Bresnahan.

Oct 23, 2020
2016, 2020 and This Moment

The story that the New York Post published last week about Hunter Biden raised all sorts of red flags for veteran journalists. How did they come into possession of the information in the first place? How did they authenticate the story before publishing it? All things considered, the available reporting process indicates that the New York Post’s story was so shaky within the Post’s own staff that the person who wrote it didn’t want his name on the byline. “That doesn’t say that the information is false,” David concedes on today’s episode, “But what it says is that the procedures to vet the information before they put the information into the public square were inadequate.” Tune in to hear our podcast hosts discuss voter enthusiasm, liberal anxiety over a 2016 repeat, and what to expect from Thursday’s presidential debate.

Show Notes:

-Join The Dispatch for a post-election gathering featuring Congressional leadership, top policy and political experts Nov. 9-10: sign up here!

-Post-Debate Dispatch Live tomorrow, “Liberal Anxiety Over a 2016 Repeat May Be Why We Won't Have One” by Jonah Goldberg in The Dispatch, The Hunter Biden Story: A Microcosm of Our Miserable Times,” by David French in The Dispatch.

Oct 21, 2020
Narrative Laundering

How do journalists and tech platforms determine what information is verifiable online? How can news consumers determine which media outlets to trust when the line between partisan bias and disinformation becomes hazier and hazier? On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by Renée DiResta—a technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory and a writer at Wired and the Atlantic—for a conversation about disinformation online. “Anybody with a laptop can make themselves look like a media organization, can use a variety of social media marketing techniques to grow an audience, and then can push out whatever they want to say to that audience,” DiResta warns. Where do we go from here? Tune in to learn about journalistic ethics surrounding the New York Post’s Hunter Biden story and what to expect from disinformation actors this election cycle.

Show Notes:

-“Emails reveal how Hunter Biden tried to cash in big on behalf of family with Chinese firm” by Emma Jo-Morris Gabriel Fonrouge in the New York Post, The Conspiracies Are Coming From Inside the House” by Renée DiResta

Oct 16, 2020
Chekhov's Gun

How is Amy Coney Barrett holding up in her Senate confirmation hearings? Well, her record is squeaky clean, she’s held fast to the Ginsburg rule, and she’s remained calm and collected despite the Democrats’ best efforts to break her composure. Another benefit from this hearing, as Sarah points out, is that “the media has finally come around to understanding that the Affordable Care Act is not going to be tossed in the trash.” On the flip side, the language of court packing on the left has shifted in the opposite direction, where Democrats now argue that the term simply refers to the act of filling existing vacancies with conservative judges they don’t like. On today’s podcast, Sarah and the guys walk us through the evolution of court packing in recent decades before giving us a temperature check on the presidential election, several competitive Senate races, and the unmasking probe commissioned by Attorney General Bill Barr.

Show Notes:

-Morning Consult poll on ACB’s confirmation, the Cook Political Report, and David’s latest French Press: Amy Coney Barrett and the Obamacare Debacle, Explained.”

Oct 14, 2020
The Power Washer Approach

Donald Trump is trailing in the polls by roughly 4.2 points in Arizona, a state Republican presidential candidates have won consistently in recent decades (with the exception of Bob Dole in 1996). Our podcast hosts are joined today by New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin, who explains the demographic changes that have resulted in such a quick political realignment in Arizona and the Sun Belt more broadly. If the polls are all correct and the GOP is at risk losing Arizona, then why is Trump spending so much time campaigning there? “The difference between a modest Biden victory and an electoral landslide is the Sun Belt,” Martin tells Sarah and Steve.

Beyond demographic changes in key battleground states, public opinion surveys have continuously shown that the American public is much more cautious about the coronavirus than the president. For months, President Trump has downplayed the pandemic by holding in-person rallies, refusing to wear a mask, and railing against the efficacy of mail-in-voting. Do Trump’s advisers simply not have the guts to tell him that his mishandling of the coronavirus is losing voters? “It’s just hard to use polling data to get him to act in ways that he does not want to act,” Martin argues. Listen to today’s episode for some thoughts about online campaign fundraising, Mitch McConnell’s last ditch effort to save the GOP’s Senate majority, and the life expectancy of “Anti-Fake News” Trumpism in the Republican Party.

Show Notes:

-Today’s Morning Dispatch about Mitch McConnell’s GOP strategy, “Trump's Path to Victory (With a Nod to Washington State)” by Sean Trende in RealClearPolitics.

Oct 09, 2020
For Whom the Bell Tweets

Do this week’s national presidential polling averages doom Donald Trump’s chance at winning the election? Joe Biden has maintained a steady national polling lead of 6 to 9 points for months now, with no signs of letting up as we approach November 3. The latest CNN, NBC, and Rasmussen polls from this week show Biden in a 16-, 14-, and 12-point lead, respectively. “Even if [these polls] are outliers on the top number,” Jonah says, “The unspoken story about all of this is Biden is running away with it with seniors.” Trump won seniors decisively in 2016 and a Democrat hasn’t won the demographic since former presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000. All things considered, our podcast hosts warn that this could be one of the biggest presidential sweeps since Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole in 1996. Tune in for a conversation about the right’s transition to online social media trolling, the president’s Twitter addiction, and tonight’s upcoming vice presidential debate.

Show Notes:

-Post-debate Dispatch Live tonight, 30 day free trial at The Dispatch, CNN poll showing Biden in a 16-point lead, NBC poll showing Biden in a 14-point lead, Rasmussen poll showing Biden in a 12 -point lead, “4 Funny Feelings about 2020” by Tim Alberta in Politico,

-Fan Service Is Not Serving Trump Well” by Jonah Goldberg in The Dispatch.

Oct 07, 2020
Virus Inside the Wire

Donald Trump shocked the world when he announced overnight via Twitter that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus, a startling development in an already news-saturated week for the president.

Who better to discuss these momentous developments than Dr. Jonathan Reiner—a cardiologist, professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, former physician to Vice President Dick Cheney, and a consultant to the White House Medical Unit during the Bush, Obama, and Trump years?

Reiner joined Sarah and Steve for an insightful discussion that covered virtually all aspects of this significant development—from the details of the spread of the virus to the protocols of the White House Medical Unit, from the hopefully distant possibility of the need for continuity-of-government measures to the cardiological implications of COVID-19.

How did we get to this nightmare scenario? “It’s a failure of common sense,” Reiner tells our podcast hosts. “It’s a failure of masking.” Frankly speaking, the White House could have avoided this situation by limiting staffers’ and visitors’ proximity to the president, conducting meetings via secure video link, and instituting a universal mask-wearing mandate for all White House staffers at all times. None of this happened. Trump has downplayed the risk of the coronavirus for months now, interacting with White House staffers on a daily basis without a mask. “For those of us who know how viruses are spread—and it’s not that complicated—it was horrifying to see all these people in close proximity to the president,” Dr. Reiner said. “I thought it was really malpractice for the White House to allow so many people so close to the president.”

The president’s physician, Sean Conley, issued a statement on Friday saying he expects the president “to carry out his duties without interruption while recovering.” But how will the White House Medical Unit ensure a continuity of government if Trump becomes temporarily unfit for office due to COVID-19 complications? The 25th Amendment provides a pathway for a majority of the Cabinet secretaries to determine if the president is no longer fit for office or for the president to relinquish his duties voluntarily. “The Cabinet doesn’t have the medical capacity by themselves to make the determination so they would defer to the White House Medical Unit,” Reiner explained, which is staffed by career Army officers. “It would take a very mature, confident officer to say to the president, ‘Sir I don’t think you’re fit for duty right now, I think you should consider the 25th Amendment.’ Imagine that conversation with this particular patient.” Tune in for Reiner’s expert opinion on herd immunity, the nonsensical partisan split on mask-wearing, and how the country can move forward during such a perilous moment in American history.

Show Notes:

-Heart: An American Medical Odyssey by Jonathan Reiner, “Trump says he and first lady have tested positive for coronavirus” by Josh Dawsey and Colby Itkowitz.

Oct 02, 2020
America and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Debate

Last night was the first presidential debate and it was … not a great moment for the country, to say the least. As Sarah reminds us, presidential candidates go into debates with a strategy, basing their metric of success on their ability to boost turnout among an already existing base. Did either candidate achieve what they wanted to achieve? Are undecided voters who watched the debate now more or less likely to show up to the polls? If you haven’t been following every twist and turn of the race, Trump appeared strong and forceful during the debate, interrupting the moderator and his doddering opponent in perpetuity. But were Trump’s interruptions strategic? As Jonah argues, “He didn’t let Biden talk when Biden was talking badly.” Rather than give Biden the opportunity to fumble, the president was just a “blunderbuss of interruptions,” a problem that was compounded by his refusal to condemn white supremacy.

Biden, on the other hand, somewhat succeeded in his do no harm, let Trump be Trump strategy, minor gaffes aside. But it was by no means a show-stopping performance from the Democratic nominee. All things considered, it mostly served as a reminder that maybe mute buttons would be a good idea next time around. After a debate recap, Sarah and the guys discuss the electoral and national security implications of the New York Times’ report on Trump’s tax returns, as well as the DNI Director John Ratcliffe’s letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham regarding the FBI’s handling of Crossfire Hurricane. Stick around for a fun conversation about our podcast hosts’ favorite cult classic films.

Show Notes:

-30 day free trial at The Dispatch, Dispatch Live Post-Debate Edition, Frank Luntz’s focus group, post-debate Telemundo poll, New York Times’ report on Trump’s tax returns, DNI letter from John Ratcliffe.

Sep 30, 2020
Fight for the Highest Court

Why are Supreme Court vacancies more important to Republicans than they are to Democrats at the ballot box? It all goes back to conservative resistance to living constitutionalism, Judicial Crisis Network president Carrie Severino tells Steve and Sarah on today’s episode. “We know historically, it has been conservatives who are incredibly engaged by the Supreme Court,” Severino argues, because “it’s been conservatives on the receiving end of judicial activism.” In recent decades, the Supreme Court itself has made a point of constitutionalizing issues that simply aren’t in the Constitution, which can be traced to the left’s complete misunderstanding of our country’s founding charter.

Severino argues that the underlying logic of judicial activism is as follows: “If it’s constitutional it must be good, if it’s not constitutional it must be bad, and likewise, if it’s good, then it must be required by the Constitution, if it’s bad it must be forbidden by the Constitution.” Tune in for some punditry on Democrats’ religious tests for conservative Supreme Court nominees, the prudence of confirming a Supreme Court justice during an election year, and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley’s insistence that he won’t confirm a Supreme Court nominee who hasn’t vowed on record to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Show Notes:

-Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court, by Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway.

Sep 25, 2020
Principle vs. Prudence

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on Friday immediately kickstarted a battle among conservative pundits and politicians over the prudence of pushing through a Supreme Court nominee before November 3. The first problem is that mail-in voting is already under way, meaning Republicans would technically be advancing a nominee during an election. Republicans have also been hypocrites about this in the past with their opposition to Merrick Garland’s hearing in 2016. Steve thinks we should push through a nominee, but David, Jonah, and Sarah are more sympathetic to arguments that Trump should nominate a justice and the Senate should wait to confirm until after the election, keeping in mind Democrats’ threats to throw out the filibuster, pack the court, and add Puerto Rico and D.C. to the union if Republicans have their way with Trump’s forthcoming nominee.

David and Jonah propose a deal: If Trump wins, the Senate confirms his nominee; if Biden wins, he agrees not to pack the court. Others argue that confirming a justice during an election year is just politics, meaning whichever party is in power gets to do whatever it wants. But what about principled conservatism? “My main critique of philosophical pragmatism is we are now talking about basically saying power decides every question of principle,” Jonah says on today’s podcast. This puts Republicans and conservatives in a bind, he argues, “particularly because for the last give or take 5,000 years, one of the jobs of conservatives has been to make a distinction between things you can do and things you should do.” Tune in for a conversation about the forthcoming attacks on Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith should she be Trump’s nominee, the upcoming presidential debate next week, and the New York Times’ eagerness to rewrite its own history surrounding the 1619 Project.

Show Notes:

-“As U.S. Supreme Court nomination looms, a religious community draws fresh interest” in Reuters, “Vote on President Trump’s Nomination, Senators—the Sooner the Better” by Matthew J. Franck in The Dispatch, and the New York Times’ 1619 Project.

-Check out our The Dispatch30 day free trial of .

Sep 23, 2020
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Trump?

“People ask me this all the time, ‘Why the hell did you stay?’ ” explains Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration and founder of the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR). “And my response is: If you saw what was happening, why the hell wouldn’t you stay if you cared about your country?” On today’s episode, Miles Taylor gives Sarah and Steve an inside scoop as to what it’s like working for a president who constantly gives you orders to break the law and who believes he has “magical powers” to do whatever he wants. The most frustrating part of his job as DHS chief of staff, he said, was watching high officials who expressed disdain for the president in private but refused to speak up when it mattered most. “There was another time that we were in [the Oval Office] and he went off on a tirade about the Mexicans,” Taylor explains, “In the conversations he said, ‘Look, Mexico is just a total hellhole, isn’t it? It’s just a total hellhole.’ And he kind of looked around the room for agreement, and he was like, ‘Right? You know I can’t say shithole countries anymore but it’s a hellhole, right?” Taylor said most people in the room—except for one official who Taylor didn’t name—laughed it off and nodded rather than standing up to the president.

Taylor said he and his colleagues went into that administration recognizing that Donald Trump was a man of pretty poor character, but there was a hope that the office itself would perhaps change the president for the better. “I really think once he had the powers of the presidency, he got drunk on the powers of the presidency and they did not have that sobering effect, they had a very inebriating effect on President Trump and magnified some of his worst impulses.” Tune in to hear Miles explain what it’s like having a Trump tweet change the trajectory of your entire day as a DHS staffer, whether Republicans should vote for Biden this election cycle, and how REPAIR hopes to fix the GOP in the post-Trump era. If anything, tune just in to hear Taylor explain why “every single day in the Donald Trump administration was a pride swallowing siege.”

Show Notes:

-The Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform.

Sep 18, 2020
The Long Road to Peace

On Tuesday, Israel signed two historic peace agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in a major step toward greater diplomacy in the Middle East. Though the Trump administration played a crucial role in brokering both peace deals—with the signing ceremonies themselves taking place in the White House—media coverage of the deals has been scarce, begrudging, and dismissive of the president’s involvement in the negotiations. How much credit should the Trump administration get for facilitating the deal? And more importantly, will other countries follow suit in normalizing relations with Israel? “The UAE is like a beta test of the bigger deal with Saudi Arabia if it is to come,” David explains on today’s episode. “This is sort of dipping the toe in the waters.” As we inch toward November 3, will this deal be a major selling point for Trump’s re-election campaign? According to Sarah, probably not. “Our politics goes in cycles of foreign policy having domestic policy relevance, normally when we’re talking about having our people overseas,” Sarah explains, “This is not one of those elections.” Much to the Trump administration’s chagrin, this deal is simply not getting the coverage it deserves and many Americans who are more focused on domestic issues may never even hear about it at all. After a foray into the foreign policy world, our podcast hosts discuss The Big Ten’s return, the conspiratorial trajectory of American politics, many Republicans’ conviction that Joe Biden is nothing but a cardboard cutout for the progressive far-left, and … Grover Cleveland!

Show Notes:

-The Remnant episode with Ken Pollack, yesterday’s Dispatch Live, and “Steve Bannon Is Behind Bogus Study That China Created COVID” by Adam Rawnsley in The Daily Beast.

-Make sure to take advantage of The Dispatch 30 Day free trial.

Sep 16, 2020
An Enduring Memory

It’s the 19th anniversary of September 11, 2001, one of the most harrowing historical events in living memory. Today, our podcast hosts reflect on their personal memories of the day as a launching point into a discussion about  the United States’ current understanding of al-Qaeda nearly two decades later. In reality, we don’t talk about al-Qaeda much anymore other than within the context of Trump’s “endless wars” rhetoric. Just this week, the Trump administration announced that troops  in Iraq will be reduced to 3,000. What’s more, peace negotiations are taking place with Taliban representatives, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and representatives of the Afghan government this weekend. So as Steve points out, “You’d be forgiven for thinking this is all over.” But as Dispatch Podcast guest Tom Joscelyn reminds us on today’s episode, “Al-Qaeda is still very much alive.” Though Tom concedes that there’s a lot you can criticize about U.S. military intervention post-9/11, “It’s much more common, in my experience, that people who are against the U.S. using military force or U.S. military action to play disconnect the dots than it is for some sort of a so-called hawk to overconnect the dots.” On today’s episode, Tom, Sarah, and Steve discuss American intelligence officials’ current misunderstanding of al-Qaeda, the UAE and Bahrain’s plans to normalize their relationship with Israel, and the real and imagined foreign threats to the upcoming election.

Show Notes:

-“Why ‘Outside-In’ Diplomacy Could Be the Key to Middle East Peace” by Jonathan Schanzer, “This 9/11 anniversary arrives with the end of the war on al-Qaeda well in sight” by Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and “The Falling Man” by Thomas Junod.

-Tom Joscelyn’s Vital Interests newsletter for The Dispatch.

-30-day free trial of The Dispatch

Sep 11, 2020
Latino Voters and 2020

News broke overnight of President Trump’s plans to reduce U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, less than a week after Jeffrey Goldberg’s bombshell article in The Atlantic highlighted anonymous accusations of the president’s poor conduct toward American veterans. Sarah, Steve, and Jonah tackle some of the move’s political implications for Trump’s re-election campaign before launching into a lively debate over the ethics of using anonymous sources in journalism.  “It is the case that reporters can pick and choose their anonymous sources to tell the story that their predetermined narrative would have them tell,” said Steve. “But I think you judge anonymous sources to a certain extent based on the amount of credence you give to the particular reporter who’s using them.”

The Dispatch Podcast also covers curveballs that could upset current polling favoring a handed Joe Biden victory—namely, the Hispanic vote and presidential debates. New data out of Florida reveals that the former VP might not have the Hispanic vote locked down, but as our hosts point out, assuming that a diverse group of people will vote as a monolithic bloc has always been a dangerous oversimplification. Steve, Sarah and Jonah also chat about the upcoming debates and how possible Biden blunders could either hurt him or paint him as a sympathetic figure, depending on how the president chooses to respond.

Show Notes:

-Jeffrey Goldberg’s controversial investigative journalism: Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

Sep 09, 2020
The Art of Nuance

Erick Erickson, host of 95.5 WSB’s Atlanta’s Evening News and creator of The Resurgent, joins Sarah and Steve on the latest Dispatch Podcast to state the case for the president’s re-election, despite his own wide-ranging reservations about Trumpism and the future of the Republican party. To Erickson, Trump represents the lesser of two evils—acting on the better judgement of behind-the-scenes administration officials to move forward beneficial policies like the Israel-UAE deal, the Trump Tax Reform Plan, and economic deregulation.

When pressed about dangerous outgrowths of the populist right, like the QAnon conspiracy theory, Erickson contends that the misinformation crisis coincided with the country’s lost faith in the media. He says that when journalists for self-described nonpartisan mainstream news sources publicly exposed their biases on verified Twitter accounts, many Americans abandoned orthodox news sources in favor of word-of-mouth and alternative media. “All of this plays into more and more people tuning out of media and tuning into their friends on Facebook, and not being able to distinguish truth from fiction,” Erickson said.

Listen to the end for a spirited discussion about the luxuries of adulthood, during which Steve inevitably brings up Spanish wine and Sarah shares her clever method to track down the best mattress in your area.

Show Notes:

-Erick Erickson’s online publication The Resurgent

-Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson

Sep 04, 2020
'Mostly Peaceful'

On the campaign trail and throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has painted himself as a law and order candidate. We’re now three years into Donald Trump’s America and waves of violence and racial unrest are sweeping across America, most recently in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Do the riots and looting in Kenosha benefit Trump electorally? It’s hard to say whether the rioters and Antifa supporters—who are burning down small businesses and hitting innocent bystanders with concrete water bottles—are supporting Biden’s campaign or even voting at all. But if everyone thinks that the left is a monolithic movement—as alleged by Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump—that’s a bad look for the Biden campaign. “If you can get successfully tagged as the party of people who are setting fire to Korean grocery stores,” Jonah warns, “You’ve got a huge problem.” Listen to today’s episode for some thoughts on the way our preferred media outlets warp our worldview, ongoing Senate races nationwide, and an update on election meddling from foreign actors as we approach November 3.

Show Notes:

-“Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shooting” chyron on CNN and last month’s statement from NCSC Director William Evanina on foreign election interference.

Sep 02, 2020
A Tale of Two Conventions

The Democratic and Republican conventions are finally over but most of the major credible pollsters are waiting for the dust to settle before tracking public opinion of both presidential candidates. The critical message pushed by the RNC this week was that Trump kept the promises he made to voters, but is that a real policy agenda moving into his second term? Is Biden’s “nice guy,” “Build Back Better” strategy winning over wobbly Republican voters? Do conventions even affect voters’ perceptions of candidates all that much? “I don’t know that anything unexpected or dramatic came out of the last two weeks, and I doubt that to the extent there are persuadable voters, a lot of them are spending eight hours of their life in front of the tv each week watching this,” said Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson on today’s episode. “I would highly suspect you had more hardcore Democrats hate-watching the Republican Convention than you did genuinely persuadable voters in the middle.” Tune in to hear Sarah and Steve chat with Anderson—co-founder of Echelon Insights and columnist at the Washington Examiner—for a conversation about the historical importance of conventions in moving the needle for presidential candidates in the polls.

Show Notes:

-Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, Alice Johnson’s speech at the Republican National Convention, “The ‘Rage Moms’ Democrats Are Counting On” by Lisa Lerer and Jennifer Medina in the New York Times, Donald Trump’s  RNC acceptance speech

Aug 29, 2020
Unrest in Wisconsin

Widespread destruction of businesses and private property has devastated Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of the police shooting of a Jacob Blake last week. As we explained in today’s Morning Dispatch, “Blake was airlifted to a hospital, underwent surgery, and is still alive, but reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.” The details leading up to Blake’s shooting are still murky, but protests, riots, and looting have ravaged the city for days in response.  “Suppressing civil unrest is one of the most difficult things that any law enforcement agency can do,” David says on today’s episode. But still, we should expect leaders to draw brightline distinctions between constitutionally protected expression and violent protest. There has been a predictably partisan reaction to the riots: Democrats have been reluctant to condemn the violence in fear that doing so will alienate young voters. Republicans, on the other hand, have been quick to ridicule even peaceful protesters. When it comes to quelling the violence, there is also a difference, David adds, between “overwhelming force, which can be often extremely counterproductive and inflame further violence, and overwhelming and prudently deployed presence.” Beyond the events in Wisconsin, tune in for some punditry about the Democratic and Republican conventions, the GOP’s non-platform, and comparisons between the presidential elections of 2020 and 1988.

Show Notes:

-The Morning Dispatch, “Riots in Wisconsin”, the president’s second term agenda, and Jonah’s column: “About Those Bush-Dukakis Comparisons …”

Aug 26, 2020
GOP Flirts with QAnon

When Politico reported on Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Greene’s racist and bigoted comments in June, several top GOP officials—including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—condemned her campaign. But after she beat her Republican opponent Dr.  John Cowan in Tuesday’s primary race, McCarthy immediately switched gears. A spokesman for McCarthy’s office told Declan that the GOP leader “looks forward” to her win this November. Why on Earth is the House minority leader welcoming a racist conspiracy mongering candidate into the GOP with open arms? Our Dispatch Podcast hosts have some thoughts. It’s also worth exploring how she was able to win her primary in the first place, especially with all the negative media attention she’s gotten in recent months. A source close to her opponent’s campaign has a theory: “The most consistent thing we heard [about why voters were supporting Greene over Cowan] was that, ‘Well, she’s gonna go and she’s gonna fight, she’s gonna fight, she’s gonna fight.’ When you prodded a little bit deeper and asked, ‘Well what does that fight look like?’ They couldn’t tell you, but they just know she’s going to fight.” Tune in for some insights into what the future of the Republican Party will look like with a QAnon supporter in its ranks.

Show Notes:

-Declan’s piece on the GOP’s reaction to Marjorie Greene’s primary win, Audrey’s piece on the growing conspiracy fringe in the Republican Party, Politico article on GOP condemning Greene in June, Trump’s tweet congratulating Greene on her win, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motto.

Aug 14, 2020
It's Kamala Harris

On Tuesday, Joe Biden tapped Kamala Harris as his running mate. But let’s be honest—we all saw this coming. As we wrote in The Morning Dispatch today, “D.C. conventional wisdom had Sen. Kamala Harris pegged as Joe Biden’s likeliest choice for months.” Despite Harris’ numerous attacks on Biden over his busing record and relationship with segregationist senators —not to mention her dicey criminal record as a prosecutor in California—she checks a lot of boxes. She’s a senator in one of the country’s biggest states, she’s the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, and she has experience running her own presidential campaign (albeit a failed one).

“When she was running for president, it was pretty obvious she didn’t know what she was running for,” David says on today’s episode. “But now as a good lawyer she sort of has a client, and the client is the guy at the top of the ticket and the Democratic platform, and that will unleash some of her better skills.” Today, Declan joins The Dispatch Podcast for some punditry on what Biden’s VP pick means for the future of the Democratic Party, a deep dive into foreign election meddling, and a much-needed update on the status of sports during the pandemic.

Show Notes:

-The New York Times’ front page spread of Kamala Harris, Trump’s tweet this morning about suburban housewives, and the DNI Report about election meddling.

Aug 13, 2020
Iceberg, Right Ahead!

Last week, President Trump experienced one of the most challenging interviews of his presidency when he sat down with Jonathan Swan from Axios. Swan asked some tough follow-up questions, and Trump’s responses demonstrated that he is not used to this level of pushback. What’s more, the interview highlighted the fact that the White House’s media strategy revolves around reassuring the president rather than getting the facts straight.

The gang breaks down the interview and Trump’s answers on the latest podcast.  According to Jonah, the videography of the interview was also damning for Trump: “It was sort of like one of these twenty-something consultants from McKinsey going and interviewing the paper mill owner who still uses the fax machine.” If he knew what he was walking into, why did Trump agree to this interview in the first place? Our hosts have some theories.

For weeks, the president has been telling his supporters that mail-in ballots will rig the election in every state except for … Florida? Trump knows many of his supporters in Florida are elderly Americans who will vote absentee. But as Sarah points out, telling all of his other supporters that mail-in voting is rigged might just work in his favor. Polls show that there will be a partisan divide in this election when it comes to in-person versus mail-in voting, with Democrats more likely to vote by mail. What these polls aren’t telling you is that a not-small percentage of mail-in ballots that are likely to be invalidated for technical reasons, especially given most states are wildly unprepared for the sheer number of mail-in ballots that are coming their way. Whatever happens, the election is going to be ugly. Tune in to today’s podcast for some punditry on how American civil society has mishandled the pandemic, a debate over whether calling female political candidates “ambitious” is inherently sexist, and some bickering over America’s best sit-down diners.

Show Notes:

-Jonathan Swan’s Axios interview with the president, Sarah’s newsletter The Sweep, Jonah’s column this week on mail-in voting.

-25 percent of the mail-in ballots cast from Brooklyn for the primary election were disqualified.

-“How the Pandemic Defeated America” by Ed Yong in The Atlantic.

-“ ‘She had no remorse’: Why Kamala Harris isn't a lock for VP” in Politico.

Aug 05, 2020
Chaos vs. Community

As our colleague Jonah Goldberg always says, the parties have never been weaker than they are right now. Democratic political strategist Joe Trippi joins Sarah and Steve today on The Dispatch Podcast to discuss how parties no longer have the power to push out irrelevant, personality driven candidates from the establishment. According to Trippi, this phenomenon is here to stay: “You’re going to have 20 or 30 people in both parties running from now on,” he tells Steve and Sarah. Political outsiders now see throwing their hat in the ring as a win-win situation, because “the worst thing that happens to you if you lose is you get a TV show or you can sell books.”

As we approach November 3rd, Joe Trippi believes that Trump allows Democrats to speak to both sides of the aisle, meaning unenthused progressives and politically homeless Republicans. Speaking for progressives, Trippi tells Sarah and Steve “He both inflames our base to turn out and he’s making it possible to reach Republican voters that we could never have hoped to reach.” Check out today’s podcast to hear Joe, Steve and Sarah discuss campaign mechanics, including the Biden veepstakes and both presidential candidates’ fundraising efforts.

Joe Trippi has been at the forefront of numerous Democratic presidential, gubernatorial, senate, and congressional campaigns for nearly 40 years. Most recently, he was the senior strategist behind Democratic Senator Doug Jones’ historic 2017 victory.

Show Notes:

-That Trippi Show

-Sarah's new newsletter The Sweep

Jul 31, 2020
Thanks, Noam Chomsky

This morning, Trump told Jonathan Swan from Axios that he has never confronted Vladimir Putin about Russian bounties that were paid to the Taliban to kill American troops, partly because the president doesn’t believe it happened in the first place. But we know from several credible intelligence reports that the president was briefed on the Russian bounties months ago. On today’s episode, Steve reminds us, “It’s been weeks since this was first reported, it’s been months since this was first briefed, and the president of the United States is officially silent on the fact that Russians are trying to kill our troops in Afghanistan.”

In other news, a fledgling theory has taken hold among Trump’s staunchest acolytes: that the president is falling behind in the polls because cancel culture has made MAGA supporters afraid to publicly profess their support for the president. But are there enough SMAGA supporters to sufficiently account for Biden’s double digit lead in the polls? Jonah suggests that this “silent majority” rhetoric has simply become a coping mechanism for the GOP to keep Trump from losing his mind. Tune in to today’s episode to hear our Dispatch podcasters discuss the Burn It All Down Wars, Biden’s veepstakes, and what they’re all reading at the moment.

Show Notes:

-Axios interview with Jonathan Swan and Donald Trump.

-Charlie Sykes’ Bulwark piece, “Burn It All Down?” and David’s Tuesday French Press, “Another Salvo in the ‘Burn It Down’ Wars.”

-Monmouth poll on secret Trump voters, Jonah’s Wednesday G-File, “Are Silent Trump Voters Real, or Just a Myth?”  and Sarah Isgur’s Monday newsletter, “The Sweep.”

Jul 29, 2020
Larry Hogan Looks to the Future

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had some blunt criticism for the incumbent president of his own political party on the latest Dispatch Podcast, and all but ruled out supporting Donald Trump in November.

“This week the president said he was going to cut funding for testing,” said Hogan, in conversation with Sarah Isgur and Steve Hayes. “That was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.” Hogan continued: “My biggest criticism was at the beginning the president didn’t take it seriously enough, and was downplaying the severity of the crisis.”

Hogan believes that the Trump administration has since made progress with its coronavirus strategy, and he’s encouraged that Trump finally donned a mask in public and spoke publicly about the importance of wearing one. But, he added, the federal government is still months behind on testing and tracing and appears to be no closer to coming up with a national testing plan, an inexcusable oversight.

Hogan went further than he has before in discussing whether he intends to support his fellow Republican in November. “Probably not,” Hogan said.

Hogan also believes the GOP has a lot of work to do to recover in a post-Trump era. When pressed on whether the president has grown the Republican Party, he said, “No I don’t think he has at all,” pointing to Haley Barbour’s truism that politics is about addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division. “Quite frankly, I think the president has really been focused on, you know, dividing and subtracting.”

Listen to Hogan, Sarah, and Steve discuss the ins and outs of coronavirus strategizing from a policymaker’s perspective and his hopes for the future of the Republican Party.

Show Notes:

-Hogan’s recent book, Still Standing: Surviving Cancer, Riots, a Global Pandemic, and the Toxic Politics that Divide America

Jul 24, 2020
All Sizzle and No Steak

During Tuesday’s press briefing, a reporter asked the president about Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and confidante of Jeffrey Epstein who is facing charges for grooming and sexually abusing minors. When pressed on whether Maxwell will turn in other powerful people, the president said, “I just wish her well, frankly.” This took many by surprise, but as Steve reminds us in today’s episode, “it’s not as if this is the first time he has had kind words or well wishes for a moral bottom-dweller.”

Tuesday also saw a fiery showdown in the Republican House Freedom Caucus, when members bullied Liz Cheney for being insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump. In today’s episode, Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David talk about how the biggest fault line in the conservative movement ultimately boils down to unswerving fealty to the president. Tune in to hear our podcast hosts also discuss the long-term relevance of the Lincoln Project, the Chinese government’s human rights abuses against the Uighur people, and end with a lighthearted discussion on their favorite concert memories.

Show Notes:

-Trump’s comments on Ghislaine Maxwell.

-Steve's reporting on the Liz Cheney attacks.

-Washington Post interview with Greg Sargent and John Weaver about the Lincoln Project.

Jul 23, 2020
From Afghanistan with Love

What is happening on the ground in Afghanistan and why are we still there? The Trump administration has closed five bases, reduced the number of American troops to 9,ooo, and signed a peace deal with the Taliban. But as Thomas Joscelyn points out in today’s podcast, the peace deal is really nothing more than a “pretext for justifying withdrawal.”

While the United States reckons with its military presence in the Middle East, other foreign threats are lurking behind the scenes. From the Russian bounties intelligence leak to recent cyberattacks on coronavirus vaccine-related targets on American soil, Russia is engaging in shadow wars against the United States. And as Thomas reminds us, China’s deep-seated anti-Americanism is also cause for concern. On this week’s foreign policy episode, Sarah, Steve, and Thomas dive into these issues and address Israel’s sabotage efforts in Iran, Trump’s reflexive isolationism and business-minded foreign affairs strategy, and the implications of a Biden presidency for American interests abroad.

Show Notes:

-This week’s Vital Interests newsletter on the world’s most dangerous alliance, and Thomas Joscelyn’s podcast Generation Jihad.

-Trump’s West Point commencement speech,and the latest reporting on Israel and Iran.

Jul 17, 2020
French Fry Wars

Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy for the Trump administration, published a scathing hit piece against top epidemiologist Anthony Fauci in USA Today this morning. “Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” Navarro writes. For months now, Fauci has bickered with White House officials and pleaded with reporters to not turn his interview sound bites into a personality contest between him and Donald Trump. Sarah, Steve, and David are joined by Andrew to discuss Navarro’s op-ed and why our public health crisis has become subsumed into the culture war.

On the topic of cancel culture, opinion columnist Bari Weiss resigned from the New York Times yesterday, citing the paper’s toxic culture and her editors’ acquiescence to persistent bullying from her colleagues. Many journalists in the Twitterverse came to her defense, but others pushed back, arguing that she was not really canceled, but simply unwilling to take criticism from her colleagues. After all, isn’t disagreement with one’s colleagues a perfect exercise of free speech? But as David points out, “If you are using your words not to debate a human being but to try to inflict pain on them in the hopes that they shut up, that’s different.” Sarah and the guys take on these questions and address the Trump administration’s aggressive stance on school reopenings, the Goya boycott, presidential election polls, and a very serious debate over French fries.

Show Notes;

Jul 15, 2020
Untold No More

The day after his son was born on October 2, 2009, Jake Tapper watched a news report about a team of 53 American troops who were relentlessly attacked by 400 Taliban insurgents at the Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. “In the haze of it all, there was a moment where I was sitting there holding my son and watching this news report about eight other sons, taken from this earth,” he said. Inspired by this story of American valor, Tapper began researching the story and eventually published a book chronicling the events in 2012.

Fast forward eight years and his book, The Outpost, is now a movie. On today’s episode, Jake Tapper discusses the new blockbuster film with Sarah and Steve, and spends some time discussing the Taliban exit deal, the effectiveness of counterinsurgency abroad, and a sneak peek into the novel he’s working on.

Show Notes:

-The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor book, “The Outpost” movie, and Tapper's political thriller The Hellfire Club.

Jul 10, 2020
Feel My Pain

An open letter published by Harper’s, signed by 153 prominent names, warning against illiberal behavior received swift pushback online. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss which socio-political issues of our time are within the scope of reasonable disagreement while also addressing why illiberalism has become such a global phenomenon.

Should schools reopen fully in the fall? Why has the fight over mask-wearing devolved into a culture war issue? Does Trump understand his own constituency? Sarah and the guys weigh in on these questions while also addressing Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech, and the future of the GOP in a post-Trump era.

Show Notes:

-Harper’s Magazine’s “Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” Vox writer’s retaliatory Twitter response to the letter,  The Dispatch Podcast episode with Yascha Mounk.

-Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore, Trump’s Twitter tirade against NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, Forbes interview with Kanye West on a presidential run.

Jul 08, 2020
The Art of Persuasion

Yascha Mounk, the founder of Persuasion, joins Sarah and David to discuss his new publication and the project of defending liberal democracy.

Show Notes:


-Stranger in My Own Country

-Stop Firing the Innocent

Jul 03, 2020
The Russian Plot

Sarah and the guys discuss reporting about a Russian plot to pay bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops, the battle for control of the Senate, and cancel culture's effect on our conversation about race in America.

Jul 01, 2020
Some Like It On the Trail

Astead Herndon, national politics reporter at The New York Times, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss his reporting from the president's rally in Tulsa to the Biden campaign and veepstakes.

Show Notes:

-Astead's work at the Times

-Follow Astead on Twitter

Jun 26, 2020
Exhausted American Summer

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the state of the 2020 race as we kick off the first week of summer, and what the revelations in John Bolton's book mean for the president's administration.

Jun 25, 2020
License to Analyze Media

Martin Gurri, a former CIA analyst, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss our information overload, the loss of trust in institutions and figures of authority, and the role of tech platforms.

Show Notes:

-Gurri's book The Revolt of The Public

-Gurri's piece on post-truth

-Vaca Frita recipe

Jun 19, 2020
Shuffling Deck Chairs on the Lusitania

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the president's executive order on policing, proposed reforms on Capitol Hill, the growing tension between China and India, and the Supreme Court's landmark Title VII decision.

Jun 17, 2020
The Great Awokening

The Dispatch's own Andrew Egger and Declan Garvey join Steve for a discussion on the blow-up at The New York Times over its Tom Cotton op-ed, woke culture, Trump superfans, and the empathy gap.

Show Notes:

-The Wokening vs. the Trumpening

-Barack Obama on woke culture

-Andrew's piece on Trump superfans

-Declan's piece on the empathy gap

Jun 12, 2020
Pain and Protest

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the continued fallout over the death of George Floyd and the events of Lafayette Square, why this moment feels different, police reform on Capitol Hill, and the "defund the police" movement.

Show Notes:

-The crackdown before Trump’s photo op

-David's Sunday newsletter

Jun 10, 2020
Right Hand, Left Hand

Jane Coaston, senior politics reporter at Vox, joins Sarah and Steve for a wide-ranging discussion on racism and police violence as protests around the world continue over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Show Notes:

-Read Jane's work at Vox

-Follow Jane on Twitter

-The story of Right Hand, Left Hand

Jun 05, 2020
Apples and Pink Flamingos

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the president's walk across Lafayette Square, protests around country sparked by George Floyd's death, Steve King's primary loss and what it says about the future of the GOP, protesting in the age of social distancing, and journalism ethics.

Jun 03, 2020
Censorship Through Noise

McKay Coppins, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss his piece on disinformation in the 2020 campaign, Trump, Twitter, and the social media wars, and his advice for young reporters.

Show Notes:

-McKay's piece The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President

-McKay's book The Wilderness

-McKay's piece on The Dispatch

-Jonah's piece The Media Are Not on the Ballot

-McKay's piece on flying during a pandemic

-McKay's piece on the stockpile of food in his garage

May 29, 2020
20 Hours on Twitter

Sarah and the guys discuss the president's threats to crack down on Twitter, Joe Biden's ‘Breakfast Club’ controversy, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the president pushing a conspiracy theory that falsely accuses Joe Scarborough of murder.

May 27, 2020
Hell's Comin' With Me

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the debate over unemployment benefits, the firing of the State Department’s inspector general, the recently declassified email from Susan Rice, and the team makes their VP picks for Joe Biden.

May 20, 2020
Paul Romer Has a Plan

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer joins Sarah and Steve to discuss his plan to safely and responsibly reopen the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Show Notes:

-Roadmap to Responsibly Reopen America

May 15, 2020
Coronavirus Machismo

Sarah, Jonah, and David discuss Joe Biden's lead in the polls, the special election in California, what is "Obamagate," and the future of social distancing and coronavirus.

May 13, 2020
China's "Discourse Power"

Sarah and Steve are joined by Thomas Joscelyn, who writes the Vital Interests newsletter for The Dispatch, to discuss the diplomatic battle between the U.S. and China, Afghanistan exit deal, and how a Biden administration might change our foreign policy.

Show Notes:

-Tom's newsletter Vital Interests

-Explaining the Intense Diplomatic Battle Between the U.S. and China

May 08, 2020
Struggle in the Pacific

Sarah and the guys take a deep dive into China from coronavirus to the battle for missile supremacy, reopening businesses around the country, the new culture war over wearing a mask, and the political fallout of a second wave of the pandemic.

May 06, 2020
Men of Note

Bret Baier, chief political anchor at Fox News, joins Sarah and Steve to talk 2020 politics: Joe Biden's sexual misconduct allegation, veepstakes, Justin Amash's third-party run, and the president's handling of coronavirus.

May 01, 2020
Protest Poop

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss Justin Amash's move towards a third-party presidential run, the sexual misconduct allegation against Joe Biden, and round two of the paycheck protection program.

Apr 29, 2020
Front Row Seat

Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent at ABC News, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss his new book Front Row at the Trump Show and how this presidency has changed the way we think about politics.

Apr 24, 2020
Performative Bravado

Sarah and the guys discuss the protests to reopen the economy amid the coronavirus outbreak, testing capacity and the divide between the federal government and states, and the president's move to block new green cards.

Apr 22, 2020

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the debate to reopen the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, federalism and overreach by governors, and the president's decision to halt funding for the World Health Organization.

Apr 15, 2020
Pandemic Politics

Sarah and the guys discuss the politics of coronavirus from the election in Wisconsin to the 2020 veepstakes, missteps by the World Health Organization, and why coronavirus numbers have become another partisan debate.

Apr 09, 2020
Coronavirus and China

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss China's role in the coronavirus outbreak, how governors are navigating this crisis, and the impact of the president's daily briefings.

Apr 01, 2020
Battling Coronavirus

Sarah and the guys discuss the latest as the U.S. experiences the deadliest day yet of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mar 26, 2020
Life Under Coronavirus

Sarah and the guys discuss all things coronavirus. Is federalism working? Are people taking the pandemic seriously? Impact on foreign policy? Relief packages on Capitol Hill? Future of the Democratic primary? And how are the guys talking to their kids about the outbreak?

Mar 18, 2020
Feminist Cul-de-sac

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the state of the Democratic primary after Joe Biden puts more distance between himself and Bernie Sanders, the team then take a feminist detour, and finishes with the effect coronavirus is having on the economy.

Mar 11, 2020
Joe's Super Tuesday

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David have a lot to discuss after Joe Biden's campaign roared back to life with a number of big wins on Super Tuesday. Sarah also gets the guy's thoughts on the latest with coronavirus and the Afghanistan peace deal.

Mar 04, 2020
Arrogance is Folly

With South Carolina and Super Tuesday on the horizon, Sarah and the guys take a closer look at the Democratic field, examine the Trump administration's search for disloyalty, and weigh in on the Harvey Weinstein verdict and latest on coronavirus.

Feb 26, 2020
Blagojevich Set Free

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss the president's latest commutations including that of the former governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich, and the upcoming Nevada caucuses in the Democratic primary.

Feb 19, 2020
Messy Chaotic Lanes

Sarah and the guys examine the results of the New Hampshire primary, dive into the debate over electability and the importance of ideological lanes, and discuss the impact going forward of the move to lessen a sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone.

Feb 13, 2020

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David take on what went wrong in Iowa and the future of the caucus, the president's third State of the Union address, and the end of the impeachment trial.

Feb 05, 2020
A Game of Witnesses

Sarah and the guys dig into the impeachment trial amid the witness dispute, the administration's Middle East peace plan, Britain and Huawei, Trump's impact on the pro-life movement, and predictions for Iowa and the Super Bowl.

Jan 30, 2020

The team looks at the larger implications of the impeachment trial, the U.S. nuclear modernization efforts, the history of executive privilege, and that gun rally in Virginia.

Jan 22, 2020
Foreign Policy Face Off

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David jump into the foreign policy clash at last night's Democratic debate, America's role in the protests in Iran, and preview the impeachment trial.

Jan 16, 2020
At the Edge of War

Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David launch their new podcast with a look at the situation between the U.S. and Iran, the latest with impeachment, and the president's proposed tariffs on European wine.

Jan 08, 2020
Coming January 2020
Dec 30, 2019