3327 – “Minority Rule”: The Right-Wing Attack On The Will Of The People w/ Ari Berman

Happy Monday! Sam is back from vacation! He and Emma speak with Ari Berman, national voting rights correspondent at Mother Jones, to discuss his recent book Minority Rule: The Right-Wing Attack on the Will of the People—and the Fight to Resist It. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Israel’s imminent invasion of Rafah (in the wake of weeks of bombing), Israeli officials’ fears of ICC arrest warrants, the absurd debate over university student activism and whether silencing free speech is the true free speech, Mike Johnson’s speakership, presidential polling, the UAW, and Kristi Noam’s screwing of the pooch, before parsing deeper through the insane response from University administrators at Columbia, Emory, and Ohio State, threatening their students with eviction, violence, and more in the face of protests. Ari Berman then joins, as he, Sam, and Emma touch on his history reporting on voting rights with MR, and how “Minority Rule” serves as a culmination of his reporting on modern-day efforts at the GOP’s undemocratic takeover and how they play into an ever-shifting battle between democracy and elite rule. Stepping back, Berman looks to America’s inception and the central role the US Constitution played in bolstering the US’ constraints on popular rule, with institutions like the Senate, Supreme Court, and Electoral College all serving to act as checks to the people’s power of democracy and federalism. Moving forward, Abe walks Sam and Emma through some of the major periods of democratic progress and (largely racist) backlash in US history, including reconstruction’s shift towards a multi-racial democracy and the following minoritarian overthrow in the South that established Jim Crow rule, and the major progress made under the Civil Rights Movement – which saw a variety of voting-right legislation passed over the 1970s – and the GOP’s reaction that we’re still dealing with today. Parsing deeper into this latter era, Berman looks at the role played by folks like Pat Buchanan in pushing the GOP back toward their project of minoritarian rule, establishing the blueprint of the GOP’s takeover of the undemocratic institutions of US politics and the establishment of a network of think tanks and foundations to shape the generations to come. After an extensive conversation on how the politics (and normalization) of Pat Buchanan paved the way for a Donald Trump presidency, grounded in culture war and white resentment, and how the GOP’s takeover of Wisconsin politics at the outset of the 2010s provided an easy laboratory for anti-democratic policy, Berman wraps up the interview with a plea for the Democratic Party to recognize and strategize against these institutional threats to US democracy, and how refusing to do so paves the way for the likes of Donald Trump.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma parse through Kristi Noam’s big swing at the Vice Presidency – and the bodies she left in her wake – watch JD Vance continue to represent his cuckstituency, and bask in Hasan’s evisceration of a British genocide apologist. Morning Joe has flashbacks to his pro-Vietnam War days, Atrios tackles the hypocrisy of the “look what you made me do,” response to protestors, and Dave Rubin doesn’t see the issue in his criticism of marginalized groups’ support for Palestine. Bill Barr explains why the socialist agenda of climate change and education standards is a much bigger threat to Democracy than the GOP’s attempt to undermine voting rights and elections, and Charlie Kirk’s failures not not get pwnd by “children” continue, plus, your calls and IMs!

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