Day: July 4, 2021

Background Briefing: July 4, 2021


A Reactionary Supreme Court Joins the Republican Attack on American Democracy

We begin on this fourth of July Independence Day when we celebrate the birth of American democracy, with the recent blow to American democracy dealt by the Supreme Court in their rulings against the Voting Rights Act and in favor of dark money. In sanctioning more dark money into our already money-driven political system, the conservative supermajority’s decision now allows billionaires to buy our politics and politicians via tax-deductible charitable social welfare fronts with anonymity, so as not to expose these beleaguered billionaires to the public in case their feelings get hurt. Joining us to discuss these rulings and what to make of the indictments handed down by the Manhattan DA against Trump’s CFO and the Trump Organization is an expert in white collar crime, Jennifer Taub, a professor of law at the Western New England University School of Law. The author of Big Dirty Money: The Shocking Injustice and Unseen Cost of White Collar Crime, we discuss her article at The Washington Monthly “How to Understand the Trump Tax Indictment” and the possible demise of Trump’s business and the dangers ahead for the ex-president.


American Democracy Will Soon Be a Rigged Game Show

Then we speak with Sean Wilentz, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University whose books include The Politicians and the Egalitarians and No Property in Man: Slavery and Anti-slavery at the Nation’s Founding. He joins us to discuss how the Supreme Court has now joined the multi-level attack on American democracy underway by the Republicans. With the writing on the wall that American democracy will soon be a rigged game show, we look into why, with the deck stacked against them, the Democrats can’t agree on what has to be done to save our democracy.


We are Deadlocked Between Those Determined to Hang Onto Power and Those Seeking Modest Tweaks

Then finally we speak with Daniel Immerwahr, a professor of history at Northwestern University and the author of How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times, “The Strange, Sad Death of America’s Political Imagination” and how our political culture is inhospitable to visionaries and utopians since it is “deadlocked between those determined to simply hang onto power and those seeking modest tweaks.”