Episode

1/26 Where The Real Fight Against Authoritarianism Is w/ David Pepper

January 26, 2022

Sam and Emma host David Pepper, former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, to discuss his recent book Laboratories of Autocracy: A Wake-Up Call From Behind the Lines, on how the GOP has been chiseling away at democracy from its base, with the Karl Roves and Thomas Hofellers reinventing the gerrymandering wheel in 2010. Pepper begins by looking at the snapshot of Ohio statehouse and presidential elections between 2008 and 2012, where Obama won with near-identical numbers yet saw a statehouse flip from a 10-8 Democrat majority to a 12-4 Republican supermajority, with 99% of successfully gerrymandered districts in 2011 holding throughout the rest of the decade, to the point that in  the then 2018 “Blue Wave,” MI, WI, and PA all saw a majority of votes for democratic statehouse members, yet retained either Republican majorities or supermajorities. They then dive into how this has completely flipped the game of local politics to one of extremism and keeping private entities happy, grounding success in anti-democratic principles, alongside making sense of Democratic counter-gerrymandering attempts with a complete absence of investment in state politics, while groups like ALEC, the NRA, and the Koch brothers have poured money into making statehouses into testing grounds for their policy and its support, before they push it onto the federal level. David, Sam, and Emma wrap up by looking at what Democrats, both at the municipal and federal levels, can do to reinvigorate the democratic drive in the US populace. Emma and Sam also touch on the news of Stephen Breyer’s retirement and do a little compare and contrast with Fox’s COVID coverage alongside Fox’s COVID coverage.

And in the Fun Half: Jackson Hinkle, of “The Dive,” joins to discuss why he, American Patriot and Marxist-Leninist, thinks the Squad should simply leverage their votes to capitalize on their negotiations with Biden to PASS a progressive agenda swiftly through the Senate, rather than leveraging their votes to capitalize on their negotiations with Biden to NOT pass a progressive agenda. Additionally, there was some interesting conversation on what critiques of the Squad are and are not legitimate or useful, but that was few and far between. Plus, your IM’s!

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