Author: Graham Fitzgibbon

Background Briefing: February 25, 2021

 

While Holding the Mob Accountable For Storming the Capitol, We Cannot Police Our Way Out of Authoritarianism

We begin with the ongoing investigations and charges against members of the mob who stormed the Capitol which reveal that Trump’s base is not all about the disaffected white working class but comprises an affluent privileged layer of white middle class and small business owners with three among the 14 Californians charged coming from Beverly Hills. Joining us is Vanessa Wills, a political philosopher, ethicist, educator and activist who is a professor of philosophy at George Washington University and a recent Visiting Chair in Ethics and Practice at Ludwig-Maximillian-Universitat’s Munich Center for Ethics. We discuss her article at n+1 Magazine “From the Lockdown Protests to the Capitol January 6 and the enduring lessons of Black Lives Matter” and how while it is necessary to hold those accountable, we cannot police our way out of authoritarianism.

 

No Report from the DNI Because Biden Can’t Get the Saudi King on the Phone

Then we follow up on the expected release today of the declassified report from the DNI on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi which is apparently delayed because President Biden can’t get the Saudi King on the phone.  Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, DAWN, a U.S. organization founded by Jamal Khashoggi shortly before his murder, joins us to discuss the need for a full accounting of what went on during the years Trump and Jared Kushner enabled Mohammed bin Salman’s worst behavior and how much the Trump family and Steve Mnuchin are profiting from their corrupt relationships with MbS.

 

A Senate Insider on How Nothing Will Get Done Unless the Democrats Get Rid of the Filibuster

Then finally we speak with Adam Jentleson, the Executive Director of the Battle Born Collective and the former deputy chief of staff to Senator Harry Reid who joins us to discuss his new book, just out, Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy. We discuss how Biden has only two years to get things done and unless the Democrats get rid of the filibuster, the Republicans will sabotage any progress and regain the House and Senate in 2022.