Background Briefing: November 3, 2022

Biden Makes an Urgent Case to Defend American Democracy From MAGA Republicans

We begin with President Biden’s address to the nation last night in which he made an urgent appeal to protect and defend American democracy from MAGA Republicans and election deniers running for office to take over the electoral machinery to bring about a one-party state led by a defeated president who has turned the “big lie’ into a political movement aimed at installing an autocrat in the White House. Joining us is John Nichols, The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent. His books include The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics, and most recently, Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis. We discuss his latest article at The Progressive “What’s at Stake in the Midterms? Electoral Democracy as We Know It” and how the Republican candidate for governor in Wisconsin who is ahead in the polls just said the quiet part out loud that if he is elected, the Republicans “will never lose another election” in Wisconsin.


Putin is Hoping a Republican Victory on Tuesday Will Lead to Less US Support For Ukraine

Then we speak with Ambassador Steven Pifer, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. He is the author of a number of books including The Eagle and the Trident: U.S.—Ukraine Relations in Turbulent Times and Averting Crisis in Ukraine and we discuss how Putin is hoping for a Republican victory on Tuesday leading to less US support for Ukraine.


Kim Jong-un Fires a Record Number of Missiles Ahead of an Expected Nuclear Test

Then finally we look into the record number of missiles North Korea has just launched including an ICBM as the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be trying to get America’s attention since he has been largely ignored after his brief bromance with Trump which yielded nothing more than photo-ops and love letters. Joining us is Nathan Park, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft whose research interests include The Korean Peninsula, Political Economy and East Asian Regional Relationship And Trade. He writes frequently about politics and economics in East Asia for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, and Foreign Policy, among others.