Adamize, hosted by Adam Serwer, features conversations on politics, race and culture.
On Adamize, Adam and Daveed explore whether it’s too early to decisively determine motive in the Boston bombings. They debate whether “religion” can be the motive for violent acts, or whether it’s really “religious identity politics.” Daveed acknowledges that discourse on religion and terrorism is often ugly, but argues that trying too hard to be politically correct stifles real conversation on the subject. They examine the roles of theology vs. structural factors in the behavior of believers. With reference to Malcolm X, Scientology, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, they discuss whether there’s a double standard towards certain religions. Daveed and Adam agree that, for all its mistakes, the media has done a relatively responsible job covering the bombings—whereas much of the commentariat has gone off the rails.
On Adamize, Sahil tells Adam that the Supreme Court will likely avoid ruling on Prop 8 but strike down DOMA. Adam notes that the attorneys defending both laws seemed unwilling to substantively criticize same-sex marriage. They consider the parallels with the Court’s past rulings on interracial marriage and abortion. Could Clarence Thomas surprise liberals by voting to strike down DOMA? Adam says he was surprised that John Roberts was so hostile to gay-rights arguments. Sahil wonders whether the court’s conservatives were the ones who really wanted to take the marriage cases. Finally, what kind of legacy will the Roberts Court leave on gay rights?
On Adamize, Dan and Adam consider the tension between the unpopular national GOP and its far more popular state and local leaders. Dan says there’s no market for GOP solutions at the national level, and Adam argues that’s a direct result of conservative success in enforcing ideological discipline. Is Chris Christie fulfilling a forgotten part of Reagan’s legacy? They discuss the controversy over GOProud, a gay conservative group, being barred from CPAC. Adam argues that John Roberts, as an ideological descendant of Barry Goldwater, shouldn’t get to pull down the curtain on the Voting Rights Act, while Dan says that we should all want the law to no longer be necessary.
On Adamize, Adam and Elise discuss the bipartisan honeymoon on immigration reform and how it can’t possibly last. They point out that the Obama Administration has stepped up enforcement of immigration laws and border security. Are Republicans like Marco Rubio prepared to take real steps on this issue? Could proposed benefits for same-sex couples derail Republican support? And will this really convince Latino voters to consider Republican candidates?
On Adamize, Adam and Jelani dig into Django Unchained. Jelani argues that the movie failed, citing the overuse over the “n-word.” Adam admires how Django inverts the archetype of the classic Western film. They explore the troubling character of Stephen, the ominous house slave played by Samuel L. Jackson. Did Tarantino err by basing the movie on mythology instead of actual history? Adam criticizes the film’s treatment of gender, and Jelani explains why Russians didn’t like Tarantino’s previous film, Inglorious Basterds. Finally, how will the film be taken by the many moviegoers who are ignorant of American history?
On Adamize, Adam and Tim debate gun control in the wake of the massacre in Newtown. Tim points out that rifles are not the problem when to comes to gun violence. Adam inveighs against the (poorly named) “gun-show loophole.” Should proponents of gun control try to change hearts and minds instead of pushing new legislation? Tim argues that quickly passing legislation after a traumatic event is never a good thing. Finally, Adam explains why he detests the NRA.
[Editor’s note: This diavlog was recorded before the Supreme Court announced that it will hear the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.]
On Adamize, Adam and E.J. talk about the Supreme Court and gay marriage. E.J. predicts the challenge to DOMA will be open-and-shut. Adam asks whether the federalism angle on the DOMA challenge could appeal to the court’s conservatives. Adam wonders whether marriage equality’s recent victories at the ballot box strengthen its chances in court, and E.J. describes a nightmare scenario. Turning to the news of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, E.J. explains why Americans are having fewer children.
On Adamize, Robert explains the hasty fall of Mitt Romney (“who?”), while Adam argues that there’s nothing unusual about political parties giving their constituencies “gifts.” Robert uses Asian-American voters to debunk the “demographic” theory of Obama’s victory. Robert observes that the 2016 Republican field may actually be more diverse than the Democratic one, while Adam argues that Marco Rubio can’t save the GOP from its problems with Latino voters. Adam warns Democrats against overconfidence about the power of changing demographics. Plus: Robert revels in the rise of the black nerd in American pop culture.
On Adamize, Jamelle Bouie predicts an Obama win, unless Romney turns out to have probability-altering powers, and Adam skeptically considers the argument that an Obama win would be illegitimate. Adam argues that conservatives’ recent obsession with Nate Silver is the result of his debunking of the Romney campaign’s claims of Mittmentum. Adam and Jamelle both worry about the racial ramifications of an Obama loss, and predict the legislative activity of a second Obama term. They close by considering people who support Romney because they think he’s lying.
On Adamize, Adam and Matthew discuss Romney’s comments on contraception during the second debate. Matthew links Romney’s Mormonism to his position on abortion. Looking ahead to the third debate, Matthew predicts Obama will win due to an edge on foreign policy. Which candidate would actually do more to rebuild the economy? Romney linked gun violence to single mothers, but Adam and Matthew wonder why he didn’t talk about the war on drugs instead. The news of Dinesh D’Souza’s sex scandal and resignation provokes a bit of d’schadenfreude from Adam, and Matthew explains how D’Souza earned his following among social conservatives in the first place.
On Adamize, Adam and Brentin discuss the Tea Party push for voter ID laws. Would these laws be less onerous if states provided voters with free IDs? Is there a constitutional right to vote, and would universal voter registration make a difference? Has the Obama administration adequately enforced civil rights laws with regard to voting? Switching gears, they criticize conservative outlets for hyping a 2007 video of Obama discussing race. Finally, they differ over whether race played a role in Obama’s poor showing in the first debate.
On Adamize, Adam and John discuss the leaked video of Mitt Romney, which Adam helped edit for Mother Jones. Adam expresses skepticism that the video captures Romney’s true beliefs. They then turn to Romney’s comments on Palestinians. Are the Palestinian people really opposed to a two-state solution? Was Romney’s response to the embassy attacks in Libya fair? Finally, they debate the Obama administration’s overall handling of the protests in the Arab world.