Tag: constitutional convention

Background Briefing: November 15, 2018


Stopping the Koch Brothers with Progressive Gains in Red States

We begin with the good news from the recent election in as much as the Democratic Party’s gains at the state level are beginning to blunt the Koch brothers-financed Republican strategy that succeeded in 2010 to change our politics at the state level so to that the minority party, fueled by its largest donors, could hold onto power through gerrymandering and the Electoral College. Nancy Maclean, Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University whose latest book is “Democracy in Chains, the deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America” joins us to discuss her article at The Guardian “Democrats were once invisible in state politics. Those days are over”. We explore successful ballot initiatives indicating a hunger for progressive policies in what seemed like terminally red states such as Arkansas, Missouri, Utah, Nebraska, Idaho and Arizona where six mothers organized a massive grassroots fight against a Koch-backed ballot measure to privatize public education which won by a 2 to 1 victory. However the Koch’s are forging ahead with their biggest and most radical project yet which is close to getting enough states to ratify its convening under Article 5 of the Constitution, a Convention of the States, which once convened would enable a few billionaires to rewrite the American Constitution to their liking and according to their wishes.


Are the Democrats the Party of Millionaires?

Then we speak with Matt Karp, a professor of history at Princeton University and author of “This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign policy” about his article at Jacobin Magazine “51 Percent Losers”. He joins us to discuss how, while the Republican Party is the party of the billionaires, the Democratic Party is the party of the millionaires with the Democrats winning 42 of the 50 wealthiest districts in the country. He argues that professional class politics are a cul de sac for the Democrats and that they need a political revolution driven by the needs and aspirations of the multiracial working class.


Has White House Dysfunction Devolved into Dementia?

Then finally with President Trump lashing out like a trapped animal at the Mueller investigation while offering insane voter fraud conspiracy theories that people put on hats and walk around the block to vote again, in a White House where the First Lady gets to decide who serves on the National Security Council, weassess whether dysfunction has devolved into dementia. A 28 year veteran senior Congressional staffer, Mike Lofgren, the author of “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of the Shadow Government”, joins us to discuss the sacking of the mini-me of National Security Advisor John Bolton who Lofgren refers to as the “Walrus from Hell”.