Politics and policy with Michael Brendan Dougherty and guests
On Washington Squares, Michael is joined by Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind, a new book about conservative thought. They discuss Michael’s unusual brand of conservatism and whether violence is an integral part of the conservative mind. Do reactionaries in America today defend entrenched power hierarchies, or are they a counter-cultural force? What ever happened to the old conservative WASP elite? They close with a discussion of the role that the idea of struggle plays in conservatism.
Michael and Freddy talk about the “new” Tory party and David Cameron’s (almost embarrassing) love for Barack Obama. They move on to discussing the appeal of the Big Society, and whether it is a revolutionary idea or an empty slogan. Is the “special relationship” between the US and the UK more like a dysfunctional one? Michael admires the British style of journalism that lacks America’s pieties about the powerful. They close with Michael asking Freddy about Britain’s stance toward the now faltering European project, and whether the future of Toryism is articulating what it means for Britain to remain independent.
On Washington Squares, Michael asks Peter about the place of video games in our culture in light of the release of Mass Effect 3. Are video games art? The conversation then moves on to the weird emptiness of the HBO film Game Change and whether political consultants are now the primary vehicle through which we get our history. Next, Peter and Michael discuss Mitt Romney’s strange lack of policy substance. Michael finishes by finding the brighter side of Romney’s soulless consultant-style approach to governance.
On the debut episode of Washington Squares, host Michael Brendan Dougherty and guest Adam Serwer talk about whether Obama’s re-election is a sure thing, and why Romney seems so uncomfortable talking about his wealth. In their own all-male panel on contraception, Adam defends the HHS mandate as normal employee compensation, while Michael explains the Catholic Church’s radical critique of the culture around sex and family planning. Lastly, they discuss how the Emergency Committee for Israel has thinned the ranks of liberal Zionists and criticize Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.