Background Briefing: June 2, 2021


An Urgent Call to Save American Democracy

We begin with President Biden’s call yesterday, at the ceremony in Tulsa, to pass the For the People Act in the Senate to ensure a level playing field in the next election that the Republicans shamelessly plan to rig. Joining us is a signatory to a letter by 100 experts on democracy warning about the Republican threat to American democracy, David Faris, a professor of political science at Roosevelt University in Chicago and a regular contributor to The Week where his latest article is “Where Are the Trumpghazis? Investigating the Trump administration’s misdeeds would be good for democracy — and Democrats.” The author of Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics and his latest, The Kids Are All Left: How Young Voters Will Unite America, we discuss the possibility of carving out voting rights as an exception to the filibuster in the Senate which may not meet with Senator Manchin’s approval, and the urgent need to mobilize Americans in opposition to the Trump-led Republican putsch to incapacitate our democracy and turn it into a one-party autocracy led by a wannabe dictator.


After Trump’s Dec 19 Call for “Wild” Protests, Plots to Murder U.S. Officials Began

Then we speak with Adele Stan, the Director of Right Wing Watch, a project of People For the American Way where her latest article is “Far-right Trump fans planned to hang lawmakers within hours of his call to ‘wild’ protests. New research has revealed that January 6 rioters plotted to murder U.S. officials weeks before the attack.” We discuss how The Oath Keepers and Proud Boys heeded Trump’s December 19 call, and according to court documents, the leader of The Oath Keepers warned his followers they were headed for a “bloody, bloody civil war.” 


The Supreme Leader Picks a Hardline Hanging Judge as Iran’s Next President

Then finally we examine the candidates Iran’s Supreme Leader approved to run and the one most likely to be next president, a hardline head of the judiciary behind mass executions who is favored to replace Rouhani. Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, joins us to discuss how this deeply unpopular theocratic regime is circling the wagons, helped in part by Trump’s hardline policies that have united the Iranian people in the face of external pressure.