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The Politics Guys

The Politics Guys

Author: The Politics Guys

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Tired of liberals and conservatives screaming partisan talking points? We were, and so we created The Politics Guys as a sane and civil alternative. Each week, a liberal and a conservative talk *to*, not at each other, in an attempt to better understand the week in politics & policy. We're not about scoring cheap partisan points or preaching to the ideological choir. We reject the notion that people who see the world differently are either stupid or evil. Our mission is to promote a shared, evidence-based understanding of American politics and policy. We hope you'll join us.
378 Episodes
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Mike & Jay start this week’s show by talking about the escalating tensions between the United States and China. Mike actually agrees with President Trump that China may pose a significant security threat and that the time to act is now. But Mike feels that the US can’t act unilaterally and hope to succeed. Jay, as a committed free-trader, views trade wars as ultimately self-defeating and believes that President Trump will end up making a deal with China. Next is a discussion of the recent anti-abortion law in Alabama, which was expressly designed to provide the Supreme Court an opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade. Mike believes that the Court largely got it right in Roe, while Jay sees the decision as judicial overreach. Neither of them think that the current court is likely to overturn Roe, though if President Trump gets any more appointments , that could change. Following that is a look at the Supreme Court’s decision allowing a major class-action lawsuit against Apple to go forward. Both Mike and Jay believe the five justices in the majority made the right call, though Jay felt that the dissenters also made some strong points. Mike thinks that, regardless of the decision on the merits, the Court allowing this suit to go forward could cause Apple and other tech giants to act less anti-competitively, for fear of future legal action. The show closes with a discussion of President Trump’s new immigration plan, which calls for a shift from a largely family ties based system to one focused on education and job skills. Mike thinks it’s a reasonable idea, but only if the overall permanent residency caps are significantly boosted, which would make it something that at least some Democrats could support. Jay is less sanguine about the possibility of any deal, but he agrees that there’s a strong case to be made for more legal immigration. Senate Republican Policy Committee paper on the Trans Pacific Partnership Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Will and Alexandra open the show discussing Trump’s current approval numbers and potential reasons they have reached a high during his administration. They then discuss the state of the Democratic field for 2020 and how the number of candidates could impact the electability of the eventual nominee. Next, they discuss Alexandra’s research on in-group control and leadership and how it relates to the modern political narrative. They end with listener questions on Trump’s foreign policy legacy and the future of Spygate investigations. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Will and Alexandra open the show discussing the contempt charges brought against Attorney General Barr and it's possible impact. Will argues this is little more than political theater while Alexandra points to the parallels and differences between this and when Republicans found Eric Holder in contempt during the Obama Administration. Both believe the struggle for power between Congress and the President is far from over with Will especially noting how John Roberts must feel watching this while trying to ensure his Court remains politically neutral. They also discuss the subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. by the Senaste Intelligence Committee, chaired by Republican Richard Burr and whether it signals more than just a simple subpoena. Next, they turn to a discussion of Trump's taxes and efforts in California and Illinois to keep candidates off the ballot who don't publicly release tax records. Alexandra notes how the numbers released this week show that Trump has been a failed businessman while Will counters that his supporters never chose him for his buisness acumen. Both believe there's nothing inherently wrong with sharing tax records, but that there is a question of privacy expectations to be considered. Will strongly notes that Republicans likely could care less about being on the ballot in Democratic states. He does point out possible down-ballot concerns, though. Alexandra, on the other hand, points to the impact if states opt to award their Electoral votes to nation-wide winners. This could change the Republican response. Will and Alexandra then turn to discussing the economic showdown between the United States and China. Alexandra points to the deep impact tariffs can have on American citizens--especially those with less spending power today. Will points to the disconnect between IP concerns and increased costs of goods, which seems to be the point we have reached. Both believe this will have an impact on the Democratic primaries and 2020 in general--especially for Republican Senators facing re-elections who must navigate between Trump support and their constituents' economic needs. Lastly, Will and Alexandra discuss recent actions toward Iran. Will argues that while Iran is a concern that Alexandra is right in asserting they are not an immediate threat. Moreover, Will questions why North Korea is treated differently than Iran given who has ready nuclear weapons and who doesn't in the relationship. Alexandra worries about the regional impact of our actions and the general tendency of the Trump Administration to bounce from threat to theat without much explained reason. Both Will and Alexandra point to concerns about broader strategy and implications.   Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
In this episode, Mike & Jay respond to listener questions on: ‘electability’ vs highlighting differences with Trump why Mike thinks Jay’s view of Net Neutrality is outdated funding for cathedrals vs. funding to fight homelessness possible indictments in the Obama spying scandal if impeachment talk is bad for the country what information presidential candidates should have to release Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Mike & Jay open the show by talking about Attorney General William Barr’s testimony before the Senate and his refusal to testify before the House. Mike says that although he initially gave Barr the benefit of the doubt, it’s now clear that Barr is more interested in carrying water for the president than serving as an impartial arbiter of the law. Jay disagrees, feeling that Barr has been forthcoming with Democrats, who he believes are subjecting Barr to scrutiny for strictly political gain. Next is a look at the Trump administration’s recent request for $4.5 billion dollars in emergency immigration funding as well as administration proposals to charge fees to asylum seekers and deny them work permits. Mike argues that while emergency funding is needed, it should be focused on hiring more immigration judges. Both Mike and Jay agree that there are potential problems with denying asylum seekers in the country work permits, and that if a fee is charged to asylum seekers, there should be a waiver process in place to ensure that those in clear danger are not prevented from seeking asylum. After that is a discussion of the crisis in Venezuela, after the failure of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro (who many people, including Jay and Mike, see as illegitimate). Mike is very wary of US military involvement given the sad history of the United States in Central and South America, while Jay counters that it’s important to keep the military option on the table as well as to respond if the Russians or Cubans stage a significant military intervention of their own. The show closes with an analysis of the Trump Organization’s lawsuits against several banks to prevent them from turning over Trump’s financial documents to Congress. Mike says that the law on this is clear - Congress has the right to these documents - but that the Trump strategy is to delay until after the 2020 elections. Jay doesn’t disagree, but feels that Congress’ legitimate investigatory authority might be somewhat more limited than Mike views it as being. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
In this episode, Trey & Ken answer listener questions on why presidential candidates aren’t tackling homelessness, whether civility is actually oppression, if Trump could be convicted if impeached, and the causes of the rising costs of higher education. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Trey & Ken start the show with a big question facing the House Democrats and the Democratic primary field: to impeach or not to impeach? Ken suggests that impeachment should begin and ongoing house committees ought to transition to that role. Trey thinks impeachment is, effectively, a dead portion of the Constitution and has no hope of contemporary use. The conversation leads the hosts to talking about the political strategies that President Trump has employed in the aftermath of the Mueller report, specifically stonewalling Congress. This leads Trey and Ken to discuss the wider relationship between the President and Congress. Trey, using prominent political science research, suggests that Presidential power has long grown and that Congress has no desire to truly check the Presidency, even if a particular Congress may give lip service to checking a particular President. Ken believes that Congress has maintained powerful oversight and can use that power over Trump. Next Trey and Ken turn to recently missed IRS deadline. The Treasury Secretary continues to push back the date of releasing Trump’s tax returns and both hosts agree that the Trump administration is hoping to run out the clock. Finally, Trey and Ken talk Joe Biden entering the 2020 primary contest and the larger implications this has on the 2020 field. Ken thinks Biden will have a harder time explaining his long record to a more progressive Democratic Party. Trey thinks Biden’s centrism offers the possibility of a real challenge to Trump. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Kristin & Mike respond to listener questions on the feud between President Trump and Rep. Ilhan Omar, how we can hold media accountable, Kristin’s view on the proper role of regulation in a capitalist economy, and what they think a second term for Donald Trump might look like. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Kristin and Mike open the show with the story that’s consumed the media - the release of the redacted Mueller Report. They discuss ‘collusion’, obstruction, Attorney General William Barr spinning the report pre-release, and the pros and cons of starting impeachment proceedings. They also talk about Trey’s ‘big picture’ view - that presidents are too powerful and the office of the presidency itself is broken. Next, they discuss President Trump’s second veto, over the congressional resolution to stop assisting the Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces in that country’s civil war. Mike sees it as a small positive sign, though he wishes that Congress would be more assertive when it comes to taking what he views as its rightful place in matters of war. Kristin points out that there’s more than a little gray area here, which Mike feels could be clarified if something like the War Powers Resolution were made into a constitutional amendment (not that that’s happening any time soon). The show closes with a look at AG Barr’s announcement that some asylum seekers would be denied the opportunity to post bail. The decision, while only applying to those travelling without children and entering at non-authorized entry points, could affect thousands of asylum seekers. Mike thinks that if the administration were serious about solving this problem, they’d make it much harder for businesses to hire undocumented workers by mandating E-verify and cracking down on businesses employing undocumented workers, a position Kristin thinks is reasonable. Further, Mike argues that instead of cutting aid to Central American countries, as the Trump administration has been doing, the U.S. should be dramatically increasing it. Kristin isn’t a fan of that, arguing that government money may be poorly targeted and ill-spent and that it would be far better to encourage NGOs to assist struggling Central American countries. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
Mike & Jay open the show with a discussion of recent controversies surrounding Chick-Fil-A. Mike believes that decisions to not allow the chicken chain into certain venues are based on the company’s support for anti-gay discrimination and its own internal anti-gay policies. Jay, on the other hand, sees this as an attack on religious belief. Next is a look at the standoff between the Treasury Department and the House Ways and Means Committee concerning Donald Trump’s income taxes. Mike and Jay both think that the law requires Treasury to hand over the president’s returns and that eventually that will happen. Mike believes that this is important for policy reasons, as there may well be some significant conflicts of interest that could be identified through an examination of Trump’s returns. But politically both Guys see it as a potential loss for Democrats, no matter what the returns might contain. After that, Mike and Jay review the first quarter Democratic presidential candidate fundraising totals. Mike was surprised at how far in front Bernie Sanders was, and also by the strong showing of Pete Buttigieg. Jay thinks that Elizabeth Warren’s weak showing is most likely a result of her decision to eschew big-donor fundraising events. Jay also points out that we shouldn’t make too much of these numbers, as in every presidential primary there are flashes in the pan who start strong but fade fast. Finally, Mike talks about some findings from his research on ideology, bipartisanship, and demographic representation in the political podcast world. Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.
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Comments (33)

Women For Adam Friedland

wtf is this LIBTAR D PROPAGANDA

May 20th
Reply

Kimberly Nicole

TRUMP 2020

May 9th
Reply

Terry W

At least Ben Shapiro is capable of talking about leftist without ANY name calling. I'm guessing its because he's an adult.

May 8th
Reply

Rene Vargas

Terry W You should also give the other Daily Wire hosts a listen to as well. Klavan is my favorite and my nephews as well.

May 10th
Reply

Terry W

This is not an equal 50/50 left right discussion. This is a leftist podcast with a few token comments from the right. The leftist host can't even have a discussion without name calling. The right side can have an entire discussion without calling anyone a single name. The left loses ALL credibility in ANY argument when they are unable to call someone a name. Talk about uneducated and childish! Buh Bye.

May 8th
Reply

Terry W

Michael Baranowski Thank you for replying!!! That shows testicular fortitude...

May 18th
Reply

Rene Vargas

Michael Baranowski Because of this response I'll be giving this show a listen. I look forward future episodes that strive for a conversation that's equal in measure. I do agree with OP, name calling does turn off many listeners especially those who are wanting to share this with a younger audience. When you're being insulting then you're talking AT the other side not WITH the other side. It's bad form and the audience not only judges you but also what values/political party you stand for. I'll leave older episodes alone since I expect they are, as listeners point out, a leftist podcast with a token conservative. Hopefully the language is cleaner going forward. Have a wonderful day. 😊

May 10th
Reply

Jay Carson

LIVE SHOW! BigTech won't let me join live!

May 4th
Reply

Terry W

Jay Carson you aren't missing anything

May 8th
Reply

Jay Carson

So, I'm here. But nothing happening on the live end.

May 4th
Reply

Shane Septon

Oh my god, empty talking around homelessness. It shows the disconnect on the topic has that has Progressives upset. Clearly they missed the point. I love you guys, I truly do, but the disconnect from the information that shows that fighting homelessness is good business and then the basic human decency aspect as well.

May 1st
Reply

Michael Baranowski

Shane Septon Thanks for commenting - I'm hoping that Jay and I can discuss this on our next show.

May 1st
Reply

Brian Brussard

Sadly, my previous go-to political program for well over a decade, NPR's "Left Right, and Center" descended into insanity, delusion and rampant in-your-face unthinking, unreasoning bias after the election of Orange Man Bad, and forcing me to flee the rampant vitriol and hatred they unceasingly spewed. Since then I have been looking for "civil" political discussion based in reality and fact rather than hatred, emotion and delusion. I stumbled across this program and the description had me excited! After listening to episodes 363 through to 370....I will have to resume the search. The description of the program is quite misleading. If you are looking for a program where the host very clearly has an ax to grind with Trump, and instead of in-your-face incivility....resorts to stating things that are clearly uber-biased, unproven or outright lies shrouded as "civil" debate....then look no further! This is your show. However, if you are, like me, looking for a program where the fact that Trump is a douche, and a horrible person....while unequivocally true.... can rightly be compartmentalized and be kept out of policy and governmental discussion...keep looking, you have not found that yet. This, like NPR's LRC, is just more ultra partisan mewlings posing as civil discourse.

Apr 23rd
Reply

Brian Brussard

Michael Baranowski Mike, can you give me a couple of specific examples of positions that the Republicans have abandoned and the Democrats now hold to reinforce your point? I agree with you that there was a hard leftward lurch during the FDR years, but I would submit this lurch was merely a continuation of the Wilson administrations lurch to the left. Recall FDR was Sec. of the Navy under Wilson and was his protege for years in politics as well as ideology. As an aside... I have always been astounded by the Progressive Left and their adulation of FDR. The man was an absolute monster! Putting aside his dubious distinction of being one of only two CIC's to ever suspend the Right of habeas corpus to US citizens, his outlandish persecution of the homosexuals under his command, during the repugnant Newport Scandal, should rank him among the intolerable in the annals of history. Yet the Left reveres him, and Wilson(shockingly enough,) to this very day. Go figure! While you are correct that we all benefit from infrastructure, unfortunately we must part ways at the fact that that not everyone pays for that infrastructure. In fact, a very large portion of "us" do not join us in paying for "their fair share." What percentage of peoples money do you feel government is entitled to take( yes this is how we should look at taxing issues...and most certainly the words we should be using in the discussion, as anything else is word games designed to obfuscate the very intent of taxes[and, incidentally, IMHO....why you chose to back away from that phrase in the previously referenced episode...as you rightly saw how phasing it this way may affect how they view the issue.] to pay for the "common fund?" I also agree with you that civil discourse, most particularly with those who hold differing viewpoints to our own, is crucial to the health of our Republic. One of the signs that said health is deteriorating is the shocking and distressing lack of diversity of thought in the halls of our Academia. Those not worried by what we see on our campuses today are not paying attention.

May 16th
Reply

Michael Baranowski

Brian Brussard Hi Brian - thanks for that great response! The research on ideological change over time almost always finds that it's actually the right that's moved further from the center than the left. You can see this by examining what were fairly mainstream Republican positions in the 1960s and 1970s, and how they've become mainstream Democrat positions. Essentially, from the 1980s on, the whole field has shifted to the right. Now, that was in response to a previous major shift to the left dating from the FDR days, which is something that too many people on the left don't mention when talking of modern Republicans as 'insurgent outliers'. As for my comment on taxes, you're correct that I meant what I said. I understand and can respect the libertarian view of 'it's my money'. My view is that nobody succeeds on their own, not really. There's a vast network of infrastructure, programs, protections, and services provided by government that are instrumental in the success of almost everyone. From that premise, I conclude that taxation is simply contributing to that common fund that helps everyone (or at least it potentially does). That's not a very individualist philosophy, which I get. And I understand that people starting from different first principles are going to disagree with me on this. That's okay - in fact, I'd say it's more than okay. Healthy, civil airing of alternate viewpoints is, in my view, crucial. One final thing - I totally agree that some on the left have gone *way* too far. While they don't represent the majority of us, they're the ones who get the most media coverage. It happens on the right as well - the loudest, most extreme people attract the most attention, even though they're not a fair reprsentation of the vast majority of Americans.

May 15th
Reply

Linda Susan Erickson

Thank you, Jay, for pushing back on Mike's religious intolerance. 🙂

Apr 19th
Reply

Chris Nigro

As a registered Democrat, this is one of the worst podcasts I’ve ever heard.

Feb 16th
Reply

Linda Susan Erickson

And I think that Nancy Pelosi is only interested in Democrat power and therefore, is a tragedy for our country. Jay, will you please give me e Mike some decent push back! 😐

Feb 3rd
Reply

Samuel Honeycutt

Can you tell me what crime was broken by the Trump campaign that was not broken by the Clinton campaign? If the trump campaign was trying to get opposition research what difference was there from the Steele opposition research?

Jan 30th
Reply

Vol Disciple

I love you guys! It's great to hear 2 people debate respectfully and state points and be adults when you don't agree. More people need to act this way.

Jan 22nd
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Shanaya Painter

This fella is definitely a more firm conservative lol. Also, Trump was not elected by the people - the EC put him there. "Democratic election" might be technically accurate, but it was not an accurate representation of the citizens' choice.

Jan 14th
Reply

Shanaya Painter

I believe, I read that putting the wall up endangers 111 natural species.

Jan 14th
Reply

Linda Susan Erickson

Hmmm, 2 Liberals. I thought that the format was supposed to be 1 Liberal and 1 Conservative. I like and learn from that format the best.😞

Dec 22nd
Reply

Kenyon Thorp

First time listening to the show. I don't know if she's a regular commentator, but the woman appearing on the "Kavanaugh, NAFTA 2.0, the Big Hack" episode made me feel like my brain cells were dying. Horrendously under-educated, under-referenced and poorly articulated, her input had an unabashed leftist agenda and she pursued it relentlessly. The man was far better, far more nuanced and far more knowledgeable, but a 1 for 2 batting record means I probably won't tune in again.

Oct 6th
Reply

Peter Cappello

Kenyon Thorp Her first time on the show and hopefully last. They were testing out co hosts. Im a regular listener and I felt the same way.

Nov 7th
Reply

Linda Susan Erickson

How about also hearing from a woman who supports Kavanaugh, not just a woman who doesn't!

Sep 29th
Reply

Peter Cappello

Linda Susan Erickson There is emotional appeal in believing/connecting with a sexual assault case that did happen. There is no appeal or emotional connection for one that did not happen. Hence the lack there of. I imagine you also missed there was two people who lean political right who weighed in on it, and to be one who leaned political left.

Oct 3rd
Reply

Mandatory Field

Is this liberal bs propaganda pretending to be civil and reasonable information?

Aug 1st
Reply

Ishmael

Mandatory Field Yep, it's just another leftist podcast as if we need more of that garbage.

Apr 29th
Reply

Peter Cappello

Mandatory Field This is from the perspective of an actual, level-headed libertarian(and of course the other host is a firm democrat). Not people who would support Trump even if he, as he said, shot someone in the street.

Aug 3rd
Reply
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