Background Briefing: January 15, 2024

Are Israel and Saudi Arabia Liabilities Emboldened by the US to Pursue Reckless Policies?

We begin with more Houthi attacks against shipping as the war in Gaza passes the 100 day mark and get an analysis of US Middle East policy that goes against the foreign policy establishment arguing that Israel and Saudi Arabia are liabilities to the United States and our unwavering support for them has emboldened Israel and Saudi Arabia to pursue reckless policies knowing that the US will come to their aid and not hold them responsible. Joining us is Jon Hoffman, a policy analyst in defense and foreign policy at the Cato Institute and a professor at George Mason University specializing in Middle East geopolitics and political Islam. He was recently awarded the “40 under 40” award from the Middle East Policy Council for his work on U.S. foreign policy in the region, and his work has been featured in Middle East Policy, Open Democracy, The Cipher Brief and Foreign Policy Magazine. We discuss his article at Foreign Policy, “U.S. Middle East Policy Has Failed: The region is on fire, and Washington is to blame.”


An Expert on Impeachment as Rep. Comer Backs Down on Impeaching Biden

Then, with Congressman Comer who is on a jihad to impeach the president now backing down saying his job was “never to impeach Biden,” we speak with Michael Gerhardt, a Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Scholar in Residence at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the foremost scholar on impeachment in the United States. He is one of only two legal scholars to testify in three different presidential impeachment hearings and served as Special Counsel to the Presiding Officer in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. He is the only legal scholar to address the entire House of Representatives on the law of presidential impeachment, and his latest book, just out, is The Law of Presidential Impeachment: A Guide for the Engaged Citizen.


An Update From Iowa on the Coldest Caucus Day in History

Then finally we get an update from Iowa on the Republican caucus underway on the coldest caucus day on record and go to Iowa City to speak with Timothy Hagle, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa who teaches judicial politics and behavior, American politics, and public administration. He is the author of a number of books including Riding the Caucus Rollercoaster 2020.