Background Briefing: July 5, 2021


Why Republicans Oppose Voter Reform and Making Life Better For All Americans

We begin with the motivation behind the concerted effort by Republicans from the top leadership to the rank and file to rig the electorate in their favor through gerrymandering, voter suppression, partisan vote counting and intimidation of poll workers. Republicans from Mitch McConnell to Mitt Romney share a belief that only they are the legitimate Americans who deserve to vote since the Democrats are the party of undeserving minorities who are the takers while the Republicans are the makers. Joining us to explain this mindset behind the reason why Republicans from Chief Justice John Roberts to Marjorie Taylor Greene are opposed to making voting easier and more accessible while resisting reforms like the For the People Act, is Adam Serwer. He has written for The Atlantic since 2016 focusing on contemporary politics while often viewing it through the lens of history and is the author of the new book, just out, The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present and Future of Trump’s America and we will discuss Adam’s damning case that cruelty is not merely an unfortunate byproduct of the Trump administration but its main objective and the central theme of the Republican’s American project.


The Costs or Post-9/11 Wars With 4 Times More Vets Dying From Suicides Than Combat

Then, as the U.S. pulls out of Afghanistan, we look into the $2.26 trillion spent so far of that war and the ongoing nation-building efforts which appear to be doomed since the Intelligence Community predicts the government we have propped up will only last six months after we pull out on September 11. Joining us is Neta Crawford, Chair of Political Science at Boston University and the founder and co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University to discuss the costs in lives and treasure as well as the sad fact that suicides among post-9/11 veterans are four times higher than combat deaths in the Iraq and Afghan wars.


Using the Law to Fight Global Warming and Climate Change Denial

Then finally we speak with Michael Gerrard, the founder and faculty director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University whose latest book is Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States. He joins us to discuss the extreme heat caused by global warming and the cynical attitudes of lobbyists for Exxon caught on tape by Greenpeace pretending to support a carbon tax while working behind the scenes to scuttle Biden’s effort at investing in green infrastructure.