Episode

2/12 Goodbye, Cold War w/ Aziz Rana

February 12, 2018

Aziz Rana, constitutional law professor at Cornell, joins us to discuss his latest piece in n+1 Magazine, Goodbye, Cold War.

On today’s show: The Boston PD does a most Boston thing and honors a white guy for Black History Month. Aziz Rana joins us to talk about the end of the Cold War era in politics, which he places in 2016. Prior to the Cold War, U.S. politics were marked by class conflict, union power within the Democratic Party, and open white nationalism among Republicans. Both the rise of the USSR and World War II ushered in a new era where both major parties held up an increasing commitment to racial equality, just institutions, national identity, and middle class prosperity as reasons American capitalism was better than Soviet communism. During this time, unions went from true organs of class power to special interest groups defending the narrow interests of their members, and social goods began to to get privatized and tied to employment. Taft Hartley didn’t help. The fall of the USSR further ensconced the triumph of neoliberalism. As the Obama era showed, legal equality was a step forward but did little to solve deeper economic problems. From growing class consciousness to grassroots movements, Rana draws parallels from the 1930s to the present and warns us against the mistakes of the past.

Good news: The Teamsters become a sanctuary union, and a California court rules against ICE for detaining people without probable cause.

On the fun half: Meghan McCain is sick of hearing Republicans are racist. John from San Antonio wants Democratic candidates to adopt a progressive program. WV state house candidate Lissa Lucas gets dragged off the house floor for reading a list of oil and gas donors. (Go here to donate to her campaign.) Kellyanne Conway claims Donald Trump helps women “privately.” Judge Jeanine blames Obama for the Rob Porter scandal and Sebastian Gorka blames the CIA. Is Jimmy Dorr the Jeanine Pirro of the left? A call from Ronald Raygun. Andy Ternay wears “fuck Trump” shirt to Home Depot. Former Reagan advisor Lee Atwater explains the evolution of the southern strategy on his deathbed. The role of imperialism in U.S.-Taiwan relations. The left-criticism of student debt forgiveness is garbage. How Obama should have handled the Supreme Court. Is Pelosi the right messenger for the Democrats’ “crumbs” message? Josh from [redacted] calls Jamie “Hymie.”

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