Conor Friedersdorf brings an independent-minded perspective to dialogues on politics and culture.
On Friedersdorf, Elizabeth kicks things off by describing a project in which she photographs 30-year-old women. Conor expresses skepticism about the new theory that men today are more emotionally needy than before. Is everyone just freaking out about the end of gender norms? The diavloggers debate the government’s proper role in combating obesity and consider portion size and deferred gratification. Conor inquires as to whether opposite-gender bathrooms should be used when they’re empty and the bathroom to which you’re assigned is full. Plus: Is wedding planning inherently sexist?
Conor and Peter try to make sense of QE3, the Federal Reserve’s effort to kick-start the economy. Turning to the political fallout from the embassy attacks, Peter argues that Romney thinks about foreign policy like a management consultant. Though they both believe in the primacy of free speech, Conor isn’t bothered by diplomats criticizing offensive videos. Peter talks about what Romney would actually do about health care if elected. If Romney wins the election, will the Tea Party ever trust him? Plus: Conor describes the album he’d love Jay-Z to make.
On a special crossover edition of Friedersdorf and The Posner Show, Conor and Sarah review the political conventions. Conor was disturbed by Joe Biden’s bloodlust, but was impressed by Bill Clinton’s speech. Turning a skeptical eye to the speeches by Michelle Obama and Ann Romney, Sarah and Conor discuss the folly of understanding a politician “as a person.” They then talk about how the tension between neoconservatives and budget hawks at the Republican National Convention went unacknowledged. Conor explores the problems in Romney’s plan for Medicare. Finally, Conor and Sarah lament that Democrats have abandoned the civil liberties positions they held in 2008.