Best Of 2021: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy & Behind the 'Blue Wall of Silence' with the D.C. Police w/ Adam Jentleson, Rosa Brooks, & David Feldman

In the jam-packed FINAL day of the Best Of 2021: Sam hosts Adam Jentleson, former advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to discuss his new book Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy on how the filibuster negatively impacts American democracy. How John C. Calhoun and other Southern Senators pioneered the filibuster to block civil rights legislation during Reconstruction. How it persisted through the Jim Crow era and became normalized. Reforms that could change the majority required to pass legislation in the Senate back to 50%.

Then, Sam and Emma host Rosa Brooks, law professor at Georgetown University, to discuss her recent book Tangled Up In Blue: Policing in the American City, and her experiences as a part-time volunteer reserve police officer in Washington, D.C. Professor Brooks discusses how she came to the topic; following her work on “How Everything Became War and The Military Became Everything,” she picks up on the trail of the normalized violence of American policing and looks into the behind-the-scenes elements of how officers grapple with and make sense of their role. Beginning with the academy, Brooks walks through how the culture of policing emphasizes danger, defense, and discipline – exploring how police overstate the threat to their livelihood in the line of duty, encouraging the use of force whenever deemed necessary. Next, she, Sam, and Emma talk about the changes in the academy over the last half-decade, both as reforms slowly trickle in and younger generations begin to take hold of departments, how we can assess the success of reforms and consent decrees during a period in which crime has continued to drop (wow maybe crime CAN be a product of policing), and why even police acting within legal and constitutional guidelines engage in incredibly harmful behavior. They round out the interview with a conversation on why Rosa feels reform must be embraced, and why the conversation on policing should be focused on imagining new systems of safety, rather than on budgetary punishments of police departments.

Lastly, Sam and Emma are joined by David Feldman of The David Feldman Show as they discuss his small-government, Ayn Randian approach to Marxism, the neediness of progressives in negotiations, and the intoxicating misogyny of Jimmy Dore. Plus, David gives a spiel on Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming kielbasa.

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