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The Dispatch Podcast

Author: The Dispatch

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Host Sarah Isgur is joined by Steve Hayes, Jonah Goldberg, and David French for a weekly thoughtful discussion on politics, policy, and culture.
156 Episodes
On today's episode, Brian Riedl, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joins Sarah and Steve as Congress debates lifting America’s borrowing cap. Will Democrats and Republicans come to an agreement to lift the debt limit? Are we heading toward another government shutdown? Is anyone in Washington concerned about our ballooning national debt?    Show Notes: -The Morning Dispatch looks at Biden’s make or break week -Riedl’s piece from earlier this summer “Trillions and Trillions” See for privacy information.
After the latest surge of migrants in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, our hosts discuss how the Biden administration has handled the immigration issue since taking office. Plus, President Biden continues to have foreign policy problems. What happened with the botched drone strike in Afghanistan? Why is France mad at us? All of that leaves Jonah with one big question: Is Biden just bad at his job?   Show Notes: -Jonah on Biden’s foreign policy -The Morning Dispatch breaks down the drone strike that killed civilians in Afghanistan -TMD catches you up on the deal between the U.S., U.K., and Australia -Tom Joscelyn on AUKUS in Vital Interests See for privacy information.
On today’s episode, CNN’s S.E. Cupp joins Sarah and Steve to talk about the Biden administration, Congress, and why extremism is taking over the politics of today. Plus, the trio discusses the effects of social media on the news business and the challenges that come with being the target of internet trolls.  Show Notes:  “The Conservative Coma” by SE Cupp in Vanity Fair S.E. opens up about living with anxiety WSJ report on the effects of social media on teen girls “Why You're Wrong About the Right” by S.E. Cupp and Brett Joshpe “Losing our Religion” by S.E. Cupp See for privacy information.
Journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa have a new book coming out that is full of more scandals from the Trump era, most notably one involving Gen. Mark Milley possibly going around the chain of command in the final days of the Trump administration. Before that discussion, the gang discusses the legality and politics of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. Plus, a potpourri of topics pertaining to the GOP and what to make of the California recall election.   Show Notes: -Excerpts from Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa -Reporting from Jennifer Griffin -More excerpts from Peril -Scott Lincicome’s latest Capitolism newsletter See for privacy information.
In today's episode, Sarah and Steve talk with Sen. Ben Sasse about the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and what to do next. For a longer summary of the interview, check out an article on The Dispatch website. Plus, Steve talks with Peter Wehner who was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001. They share reflections on that day at the White House and the last 20 years.   Show Notes: -“The Vanishing American Adult” by Ben Sasse -“Them” by Ben Sasse -Peter Wehner at The Atlantic -Peter Wehner at The New York Times -“The Death of Politics” by Peter Wehner See for privacy information.
President Biden is having a no good, horrible, very bad summer. The gang, with Chris Stirewalt subbing in for David, discuss whether Biden can recover from the last few weeks. Is the only thing that can save Biden a reemergence of former President Trump? Trump is slated to visit Iowa and the group discusses what that means for 2024. And finally, Afghanistan is still in shambles and we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Listen to hear what Sarah, Jonah, Steve, and Chris were doing 20 years ago and how it impacted the rest of their lives.   Show Notes: -Amy Walter on Biden’s approval rating -Jonah’s 9/11 piece See for privacy information.
Abortion in America

Abortion in America


This week, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, declined to block a Texas abortion law from going into effect. In Thursday’s Advisory Opinions podcast, Sarah and David tackled the legal aspect of the law and the court’s decision. Today, they turn to the politics--not just of the Texas law, but of the issue of abortion itself. Where does the pro-life movement stand today? Where does it go from here?    Show Notes: -David’s piece breaking down the Supreme Court’s decision -David and Sarah’s legal analysis of the Supreme Court’s ruling -Study: “How Americans Understand Abortion” See for privacy information.
Disco Ball of Asininity

Disco Ball of Asininity


There are no more troops in Afghanistan, and President Biden is telling us we had no other option. The gang talks about all the problems with Biden’s speech from the White House at the end of the war in Afghanistan. Plus, as political violence seems to be ticking up recently our hosts debate whether or not that is something to worry about. And finally, creeping a little bit into Advisory Opinions territory, what’s going on with all of the big cases in the Supreme Court?   Show Notes: -Biden’s speech on the end of the Afghan War -McConnell honors Joe Biden in 2016 -David’s latest newsletter on political violence -Sen. Ron Johnson is a closet normal -Eviction moratorium ends -Texas abortion law See for privacy information.
Rep. Mike Gallagher joins Sarah and Steve on the podcast and tries (with no luck)to understand the logic behind the Biden administration’s withdrawal plan in Afghanistan. Gallagher puts it quite bluntly, “The whole thing is a mess, and there are very few options we have right now.” The Marine Corps veteran explains what he’d like to see from the Biden administration going forward and how the GOP should handle national security issues going forward. Plus, find out what brutal book the congressman just finished reading (hint: it’s about Sarah’s home state).  Show Notes: Office Space Michael Bolton scene  Rep. Gallagher’s Small Wars Journal piece with plenty of Office Space references  Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Qwynne See for privacy information.
Today, the gang leads the podcast with yet another conversation about the crisis in Afghanistan. As they tick through all the bad takes floating around the internet surrounding the situation one by one, it’s clear the main takeaway is that it’s still really bad and sad to watch. Plus, more infrastructure talk! Has Nancy Pelosi lost her political touch? The Dispatch Podcast team breaks down how the political maneuvering of infrastructure will affect 2022. And for dessert: the California gubernatorial recall election.    Show Notes: -Can the Taliban become a reliable partner to the U.S.? Only time will tell. - David Ignatius -History of the Dunkirk evacuation -David subs for Jonah on The Remnant -TMD tries to explain the House infrastructure rule -TMD on California recall See for privacy information.
Failure in Afghanistan

Failure in Afghanistan


In this episode, Steve moderates a conversation with David French and Tom Joscelyn about the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. They cover the Biden administration’s decision not to begin evacuations before the Taliban captured Kabul, intelligence failures, the state of the Afghan military, and much, much more.   Show Notes: -Read Vital Interest for Tom’s latest analysis on Afghanistan -Read The French Press for David’s latest analysis on Afghanistan See for privacy information.
American Defeat

American Defeat


For the large majority of today’s podcast, our hosts discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan and how it will affect domestic politics in the United States. Perhaps David summed up the conversation around the Afghanistan situation as succinctly as possible, “There’s no way to spin this as anything other than a direct American defeat.” Plus, short conversations about the state of COVID-19 and the new census data.    Show Notes: -The Remnant with Eli Lake -The Sweep on issue polling -All of Thomas Joscelyn’s latest Vital Interests  -New census data -Americans Color Outside the Lines - Chris Stirewalt See for privacy information.
In his first interview after voting yes on the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill, Sen. Bill Cassidy joins Sarah and Steve to talk about how it feels to see that bill pass the Senate. Plus, Cassidy puts on his doctor hat to talk about COVID-19. Then Steve is joined by Tom Joscelyn to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. How much longer until the Taliban seizes full control of the country?    Show Notes: -Closer look at passing of the infrastructure bill from Uphill -David French’s view on Afghanistan -Read Vital Interest for the latest analysis on Afghanistan See for privacy information.
At long last, infrastructure week is here! The gang contemplates what the bipartisan plan and Democratic reconciliation package mean for the country and the economy. Also, how would Sen. Goldberg vote on the bipartisan bill? Then the discussion turns to what should be done about the latest damning climate report. Plus, everyone’s worst fears about Afghanistan from a few weeks ago seem to be coming true. And finally, for dessert, Andrew Cuomo.   Show Notes: -Uphill’s latest update on infrastructure  -IPCC report -Pentagon press secretary John Kirby -State Department spokesman Ned Price -Cuomo resigns See for privacy information.
How do you solve a problem like Iran? Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is here to talk with Sarah and Steve about the Biden administration's approach to Iran after six months in office. Was moving away from the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign the right move?   Show Notes: -Goldberg’s piece in The Dispatch See for privacy information.
End of the Line for Cuomo

End of the Line for Cuomo


On today’s podcast, our hosts kick things off with a discussion about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who refuses to resign despite a damning sexual harassment report and calls from national Democrats, including President Biden, to step aside. They then dive into the CDC’s decision to extend the eviction moratorium again and debate the possibility of a federal vaccine mandate. Next, David talks about the right’s new obsession with Hungary and Viktor Orbán and how it mirrors the left’s fascination with Scandinavia. Finally, the gang discusses the recent dropoff in PAC contributions, and how the rise in small dollar donations may be contributing to American partisanship.   Show Notes: -The battle for 1042 Cutler Street -Web/fundraising email loop See for privacy information.
Former U.S. Representative Will Hurd from Texas joins Sarah and Steve to talk about dysfunction in Congress, the January 6 committee, and the centralization of power in Washington. Hurd tells our hosts that there’s no incentive to solve real issues in Congress and we’re incapable of dealing with generation-defining issues because our political system is full of silly issues. Plus, why it’s imperative to teach students how to code. And why, contrary to Republican talking points, January 6 was not an ordinary day. Finally, how the Republican Party can be more competitive with people of color, young people, and suburban women.   Show Notes: -Will Hurd’s upcoming book See for privacy information.
The select committee to investigate the January 6 attack held their first hearing on Tuesday, our hosts are here to discuss the substance and politics of what we heard. Plus, the CDC is out with new guidelines recommending vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in certain parts of the county. Can Jonah contain his anger at the CDC's messaging? And why are opinions on Simone Biles' decision to withdraw from competition a race to the bottom?   Show Notes: -The Morning Dispatch recap’s January 6 committee hearing -CDC updated its COVID-19 mask guidance -Simone Biles drops out of Tokyo Olympics team final See for privacy information.
Patrick Ruffini, a co-founder of the predictive analytics and research firm Echelon Insights, joins Sarah and Chris to discuss his recent analysis of the American electorate. Ruffini tells our hosts where the ideological center of gravity seems to be and why cultural issues might be driving voter turnout. Chris asks whether a party can adopt a perfect policy position and if party bases tolerate ideological flexibility. Plus, why are moderate Democrats outperforming progressives? And why are educated voters drifting left, but non-educated voters are drifting right?    Show Notes: -Echelon Insights Four Quadrants of American Voters See for privacy information.
The White House has announced that it will be flagging misinformation on Facebook in an attempt to diminish vaccine skepticism. But could politicizing this issue even further actually embolden anti-vaxxers? Our hosts consider how we can sway the unvaccinated, and whether the world would be better off without online comment sections. Afterward, Steve introduces a potpourri of topics for Jonah and Sarah to dig into. How concerned should we be about inflation? Do Republicans have any interest in fully uncovering what happened on January 6? And can Biden convince the Democrats to accept a bipartisan infrastructure agreement after promising unity in his inaugural address? The gang concludes by discussing Jeff Bezos’ voyage to outer space, and Jonah considers whether we should build nuclear reactors on the moon.    Show Notes: -The Morning Dispatch breaks down Biden’s clash with Big Tech -Jonah’s column: “Biden Shows How Not to Improve Vaccine Rates” -A Forbes article on the myth of vaccine-induced magnetism -TMD explores whether inflation is a threat -Alex Tabarrok discusses inflation on The Remnant See for privacy information.
Comments (10)

Just an Opinion...

Oh well, we can't win'em all...

Sep 9th

Anthony Kolby Brent

35e4 r 2 e e3p x

Jul 29th

timothy connolly

Gotta say while I absolutely do not agree with the shows politics a lot of the time, these guys are a lot more reasonable than other conservative podcasts/news networks. Good way to listen to the other side of the aisle and test your own convictions

May 20th
Reply (3)

Sara Chick

Love Chris Stirewalt! Hope he joins the Dispatch ❤

Feb 8th

Eileen Klees

Ms Severino talked too fast and came across as entirely partisan regarding Supreme Court confirmations and decision outcomes. The Warren Court did overstep its bounds but its criminal justice and civil rights rulings came about because of terrible injustices. I expected a more scholarly overview along the lines of Jeffrey Rosen or Norm Ornstein or Nina Totenberg. This was just a rant.

Sep 27th

William MWestcott

Here it is. Not coming up on searches though

Jan 9th
Reply (1)
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