Background Briefing: September 13, 2022


Senator Graham’s Attempt at Damage Control for the GOP on Abortion

We begin with an attempt by Senator Lindsey Graham to mitigate the political damage facing House and Senate Republicans in this upcoming midterm election from the Supreme Court’s decision to ban abortions. This life-long bachelor who appears not to have had any close relationships with women, has taken on an issue critical to women’s health and autonomy by introducing a bill today that proposes a federal ban on abortion after 15 weeks. Joining us to discuss this attempt at damage-control for the GOP is Amanda Marcotte, a Feminist author, blogger, and a politics writer for Salon. She is the author of Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself, and we discuss her latest article at Salon, “So much for “leave it to the states”: Republicans test the waters with a federal abortion ban bill.”


As Global Order Deteriorates Before our Eyes, a Proposal to Establish a New and Benign Order

Then, with what is left of the global order deteriorating before our eyes, we examine what can be done to avoid a worsening of relations with China and possibly Russia although prospects for that are getting bleaker and speak with Stephen Walt, the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University. He is the author of a number of books including The Origins of Alliances; Revolution and War; Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy, and most recently, The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy. He is the co-author of an article in Foreign Affairs, “How to Build a Better Order: Limiting Great Power Rivalry in an Anarchic World.”


The Shift to the Right in Sweden and Across Europe

Then finally, with a shift to the right in the Swedish elections as one of the most tolerant countries in the world takes an anti-immigrant turn, we speak with Sheri Berman, a professor of Political Science at Barnard College of Columbia University whose research interests include European history and politics; the development of democracy; populism and fascism; and the history of the left. She is the author of Democracy and Dictatorship: From the Ancien Regime to the Present Day and we discuss the gains by the far-right in Europe with Giorgia Meloni poised to become leader in Italy along with the rise of Vox in Spain.