8/8 How Republicans Are Taking Advantage Of Our Broken US Federalism w/ Jacob Grumbach

August 8, 2022

Sam and Emma host Jake Grumbach, professor at the University of Washington, to discuss his recent book Laboratories Against Democracy: How National Parties Transformed State Politics. First, Emma and Sam tackle the successful passing of Biden’s Build-Back-a-Bit, filled to the brim with goodies for the fossil fuel industry as a ransom tradeoff for even thinking about a green transition, and run through the punitive damages ordered against Alex Jones in the wake of his libel trial. Then, they’re joined by Professor Jacob Grumbach as he dives right into his book the inspiration he took from Louis Brandeis’ concept of federalism as “Laboratories of Democracy,” bringing it into a modern assessment of the relationship between US Federalism and Democracy. Next, he walks Sam and Emma back to the formation of US Federalism in the wake of the US Revolution as a compromise between a political structure that emphasizes national unity for strength and one centered around preventing tyranny through state autonomy (aka allowing for the continuation of the industry of slavery), leading up to Brandeis’ arrival on the Supreme Court in 1916 and his assessment of the ideal of federalism. They then work through what changed over the fifty years since 1970, with the nationalization (and centralization) of everything from corporate and social media (including the disappearance of local news) to political fundraising and interest groups, all while the national parties coalesced around their corporate leaders, unifying internally while polarization grew. This gave birth to a radicalism pipeline for the Right, starting with mass messaging on the level of national media and the party apparatus and trickling down to the footsoldiers of state implementation (as seen, particularly, with the recent fights over CRT). Next, Professor Grumbach walks through the various crises of 2020 that brought to the forefront the failures of our federalist system, including the COVID pandemic, the backlash (and backlash to the backlash) to the murder of George Floyd, and the wider crisis of democracy, discussing how it shined a light on the inefficiency of a decentralized public health system, the paradox of Governor and Mayoral power being trumped by their police departments, and more. They wrap up the interview by tackling the anomalies of Brandeis’ post-war era, in terms of economic compression and political de-polarization, and diving into the necessary importance of large-scale organizations in helping us situate ourselves within these massive political systems, and how the right already capitalizes on it.

And in the Fun Half: Emma and Sam dive into Brett Kavanaugh’s expertise in avoiding accountability, from his severe debt that just happened to disappear in the run-up to his nomination to the recent revelation that Trump’s White House covered up over 4,000 tips on Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations. JR from Philly helps us parse through where the hell Alex Jones’ money came flowing in from, Rick Scott is pressed on support for Masters and Walker, and Kim Crockett asks if we can just eliminate voting for disabled folks as a treat. Aaron Rodgers can’t take a jab – physical or comedic – Kowalski from Nebraska talks climate change and labor, Spencer from Minnesota gives some primary previews, and Robert from Rochester discusses the Right giving up the game with their “wage-driven inflation” rhetoric. Mike from Rhode Island talks midterms, plus, your calls, and IMs!

Check out Jake’s book here: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691218458/laboratories-against-democracy

Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here: https://am-quickie.ghost.io/

Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/

Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/

Get the free Majority Report App!: http://majority.fm/app

Check out today’s sponsors:

ZBiotics: Go to https://thld.co/zbiotics_majority_0722 and get 15% off your first order of ZBiotics Pre-Alcohol Probiotic by using my code MAJORITY at checkout. Thanks to ZBiotics for sponsoring today’s video!

Ritual: We deserve to know what we’re putting in our bodies and why. Ritual’s clean, vegan-friendly multivitamin is formulated with high-quality nutrients in bioavailable forms your body can actually use. Get key nutrients without the B.S. Ritual is offering my listeners ten percent off during your first three months. Visit https://ritual.com/?utm_source=arm&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=majority to start your Ritual today.

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:







Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

The Majority Report with Sam Seder – https://majorityreportradio.com/

Past Episodes

Happy Memorial Day! The MR Crew is OFF today but check out this interview from late December of last year with Peter Beinart, editor-at-large at Jewish Currents, author of the Beinart Notebook on SubStack, and professor at the CUNY School of Journalism, on a piece he wrote entitled "Harvard Is ...
It’s Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Jeet Heer, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, to round up the week in news. First, they run through updates on the ICJ’s order to halt Israel’s invasion of Rafah (and Israel’s subsequent escalation), South Carolina’s congressional maps, ...
It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Daniel J. Galvin, professor of political science at Northwestern University, to discuss his recent book Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights. Then, she's joined by Richard Beck, senior writer at n+1 Magazine, to discuss his recent ...