Day: September 22, 2021

Background Briefing: September 22, 2021


The January 6 Coup Almost Succeeded, Not by the Mob, But the Eastman Memo

We begin with the revelations in the new book Peril by the Washington Post reporters Woodward and Costa that makes it alarmingly clear how close we came to a coup on January 6, not so much by the actions of the mob, but by a memo written by a top Federalist in the White House John Eastman. He offered a plan to exploit holes in the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to have VP Pence overturn the election and nullify 81 million votes for Biden. Daniel Goldberg, Legal Director at the Alliance For Justice who served as Chief of Staff of the Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs and before that spent six years as senior counsel to Senator Tom Harkin, joins us. We discuss the failure of the political establishment and the press to name and shame highly-placed Republican lawyers like Eastman who energetically advocated for treason and came close to succeeding yet are still accepted in polite society and remain the head of the Federalist Society which claims to be dedicated to upholding the Constitution.


The U.S. is Heading For an Authoritarian Electoral Coup to Install a Kleptocracy

Then we look into the shocking parallel with the U.S. and countries like Hungary where a democratic government has been taken over in an authoritarian electoral coup to install a family kleptocracy. With the Republicans engineering the same process in the service of the Trump family kleptocracy which could come back in 2024 if the Republicans win control of the House and Senate in 2022, they could enact the Eastman memo which came close to being implemented in 2020. Jason Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, joins us.


Why Are Democratic Moderates Sabotaging Biden’s Agenda?

Then finally we speak with Zachary Carter, a Writer in Residence with the Omidyar Network’s Reimagining Capitalism initiative who spent 10 years as a senior reporter at HuffPost where he covered economic policy and American politics. The author of The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, he joins us to discuss his op-ed at the New York Times, “Why Are Moderates Trying to Blow Up Biden’s Centrist Economic Plan?”