Background Briefing: January 17, 2023
A “Stop the Steal” Loser Shoots up the Homes of Democrats Claiming “I Stand with Donald J. Trump”
We begin with the arrest of a former Republican candidate for a State House seat in New Mexico who lost in a landslide but, claiming that “I stand with Donald J. Trump”, he went on a “stop the steal” jihad to the point he hired four men to shoot up the houses of Democratic elected officials. Joining us is Jessica Feezell, a professor of political science at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque specializing in American politics and political communication. Her research draws on scholarship in public opinion, media, political participation, civic engagement, and public policy, she is also co-author of The Politics of Energy Crises and we question why a convicted felon who spent seven years in jail could run for state office in the first place and assess what is behind the recent increase in threats and attacks on elected officials.
The Good Faith and Credit of the US at the Mercy of Freedom Caucus Nihilists
Then we look into what could happen as soon as Thursday when the debt ceiling is met with a House dominated by the nihilist caucus which could destroy the good faith and credit of the US and do untold damage to the American economy for reasons hard to discern. Joining us is Zachary Carter, a consultant at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation who spent 10 years as a senior reporter at the Huffington Post where he covered economic policy and American politics. He is the author of The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes and we discuss his op-ed at the Washington Post, “The debt ceiling is an absurd problem. Only an absurd solution can save us.”
A History of Paranoid Fantasies and Today’s Rise of Fascism Led by a Reality TV Star
Then finally we speak with Jared Yates Sexton, the author of American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People and The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore as well as three collections of fiction. The host of The Muckrake Podcast, his latest book, just out, is The Midnight Kingdom: A History of Power, Paranoia, and the Coming Crisis, we discuss how the current rise of fascism lead by a reality TV star is a part of a long history the book covers in which reality is rejected for paranoid fantasies ending up with today’s apocalyptic mindset that has become Republican orthodoxy.