Day: August 20, 2020

Background Briefing: August 20, 2020


Can Biden’s Big Tent Paper Over Differences of Policy and Principal?

We begin with Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and the Ida and Meyer Kirstein Chair at Brandeis University. He was formerly an assistant to the legendary I.F. Stone, a chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee, and for 20 years wrote a column at Business Week.  The author of Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?, and his latest, The Stakes: 2020 and the Survival of American Democracy, he has an article at the American Prospect, “Postal Service Has Plenty of Capacity to Deliver Mail-In Ballots: USPS even has a $10 billion line of credit from the Treasury. Trump’s entire story is a fabrication.” He joins us to discuss how, now that the Democrats are having a successful convention, Biden may have trouble with his big tent having papered over some of the irreconcilable differences of policy and principal. Sooner or later Robert Kuttner believes, Biden will have to choose which side he is on.


Voter suppression Never Went Away. It Evolved

Then we speak with Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. Named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies, her books include Bourgeois Radicals, Eyes off the Prize, and White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide and One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy. She is a columnist for The Guardian and we discuss her video op-ed in The Washington Post, “Voter suppression never went away. It evolved.


Trump All But Endorses the QAnon Conspiracy Cult

Then finally we are joined by Melissa Ryan, who writes Ctrl Alt-Right Delete, a weekly newsletter covering extremism and online toxicity which reached new depths with President Trump all but endorsing the QAnon conspiracy cult yesterday. She is the CEO of CARD Strategies and previously spent a decade leading digital campaigns for nonprofits and political races, including EMILY’s List, Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold’s campaign. She is the author of a recent report at Right Wing Watch, “Disinformation, Coronavirus, and the 2020 Presidential Election” and we discuss the QAnon phenomenon and its connection to Trump’s campaign remark that he “loves the poorly educated”.