The Argument

By New York Times Opinion

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Reviews: 11

 Oct 14, 2020

 Aug 27, 2020
Seriously? Their "representative conservative" is a never Trumper?

 Jun 6, 2020

 Apr 23, 2020
Basically this podcast is a bunch of NYT writers telling each other how smart and amazing they are.

 Sep 27, 2019


The other side is dangerously wrong. They think you are too. But for democracy to work, we need to hear each other out. Times Columnists Michelle Goldberg and Ross Douthat, with other voices from Opinion and beyond, debate the big questions affecting our lives. Their candid debates help you form your own opinion of the latest news, and learn how the other half thinks. Find the best ways to persuade in the modern search for common ground.

Episode Date
Packed Courts, Undecided Voters and 'WAP': You Asked, We Answered

For the podcast’s two-year anniversary, Michelle and Ross start with a rousing debate over why Joe Biden isn’t saying he’d pack the courts, should he beat President Trump in November. Ross asks Michelle if she’d concede that court packing would be a significant escalation in the “judicial wars,” and Michelle asks Ross what happens to the anti-choice movement if and when Roe is overturned.

Then, the hosts listen to the show’s voice mails and dig into the inbox to answer some listener questions. They respond to your questions about the open Supreme Court seat, who the heck is still undecided, Republicanism’s evolution to Trumpism, and whether “WAP” is a feminist anthem. Finally, both hosts suggest you dive into the Nxivm cult’s backstory through HBO’s new documentary series, “The Vow.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 16, 2020
What Happens if Trump Won’t Leave?

So President Trump caught the coronavirus. But with just weeks left in the 2020 campaign, what impact will his ill health — and subsequent spin — have on the election? Columnist David Brooks joins Michelle and Ross to talk about masculinity, sympathizing with someone you hate, and how the virus’s spread within Republican circles will play out among the electorate. Plus, Ross recites some medieval political theology. Then, what happens after Nov. 3? The columnists debate three possible outcomes for the election, ranging from dragging Trump out of the Oval Office with his “tail between his legs,” to secession and civil war. Finally, David is vindicated in a repeated recommendation of the lyricism of Taylor Swift, with some septuagenarian Springsteen on the side. For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 09, 2020
Welcome to the Thunderdome

In the aftermath of the first presidential debate, Michelle Goldberg and Ross Douthat try to answer the question, “What was that?” They discuss whom President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were talking to, how much it’ll move the needle for yet undecided voters, and what to look for in the remaining debates. Then, the editorial board writer Michelle Cottle joins the podcast for a comprehensive look at the last week of news: Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Trump’s tax revelations, the debate and what it all means for the state of the race. Finally, Michelle recommends you enjoy the outdoors while you still can.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 02, 2020
Introducing 'Sway' from NYT Opinion

Power. Who has it? Who’s been denied it? And how does one get it? Today we’re sharing NYT Opinion’s newest podcast, “Sway.” In the first episode, host Kara Swisher interviews House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When it comes to presidential succession, Ms. Pelosi is second in line. And when it comes to taking on President Trump, she’s usually first. “The power of the speaker is awesome,” says Ms. Pelosi. But how is she actually using that power? Why not accept a compromise (to the tune of $1.5 trillion) that may help quell a national crisis? What progress is possible when the speaker hasn’t spoken directly to the president in months? And with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaving a looming conservative court, can Ms. Pelosi maximize the power of a Democratic-controlled House? Sorry one edit… new paragraph: You can find transcripts, more episodes and slinks to subscribe to “Sway” at Episodes are released every Monday and Thursday.

Sep 29, 2020
A Battle Over the Battle for the Supreme Court

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death has elevated the stakes of the presidential election and left the fate of the Supreme Court as a question. Ross and Michelle debate the Republican hypocrisy of trying to fill the seat before the election, the self-weakening counter-strategy of Democrats and Roe v. Wade’s centrality of the whole partisaned battle. Then, Jamelle Bouie joins the conversation for a debate about court reform. They discuss how reforms like term limits and court packing can curtail the outsize power of the court over American society. Plus, Jamelle suggests you start small when seizing power. For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 25, 2020
How Culpable Is Trump, and How Dangerous is QAnon?

After Bob Woodward’s latest book revealed just how much President Trump knowingly misled the public about the coronavirus, how much blame does he bear for the nearly 200,000 American lives lost to the virus? Michelle and Ross discuss counterfactuals and disagree about culpability — both the president’s, and that of the alarmed but withholding members of his administration. Then, Opinion writer Charlie Warzel joins the podcast to debunk QAnon, for a conversation about the role the “collaborative fiction” plays in American’s psyche and politics. Is it a collective coping mechanism in difficult times? A remix on old anti-Semitic themes? And is it all Facebook’s fault?

For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 18, 2020
How to Win the Latino Vote

In a special episode of “The Argument,” Opinion editor and writer Isvett Verde hosts a round table on the Latino vote in the 2020 election. Isvett welcomes Chuck Rocha, a senior campaign adviser to Bernie Sanders, and Linda Chavez, director of the Becoming American Institute and a senior fellow at the Niskanen Center. Together, they debunk the myth of a monolithic “Latino voting bloc,” explain Latino support for President Trump and discuss the role of Latinos in the future of both parties. Linda describes going from being one of the highest-ranking women in the Reagan White House to not recognizing her party in the Trump era. And Chuck explains how Sanders was able to excite Latino voters like no other candidate.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 11, 2020
Is ‘American Carnage’ Campaign Gold?

The Trump re-election strategy has revealed itself: Cast American cities as hotbeds of chaos, and place the blame entirely on the Democratic Party. Yet why is unrest being seen as a weakness for Joe Biden, and not the man in charge? Is the media unthinkingly accepting a Republican narrative? This week on the podcast, Frank, Michelle and Ross argue about the protests and counterprotests in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wis., and disagree over the politicization of the clashes. They debate the lines between vigilantism and rioting and discuss the role coverage plays in the perception of the violence. And as a fitting parting gift on his final episode of “The Argument,” Frank recommends a short story that goes from jocular to chest-gripping grief in just 10 pages.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 03, 2020
Can the Republicans Sell a Whole New Trump?

What is the Republican election strategy? And is it working? This week on “The Argument,” the journalist Charlie Sykes joins Michelle and Frank to debate whether or not Trump has made a strong enough case for his re-election during the Republican convention and if his fierce message will translate to undecided voters.

Then, they turn to a question facing many Biden conservatives, like Charlie: What is the future of the party?

Plus, Charlie suggests a page-turner that will make time disappear.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Aug 27, 2020
What Biden Must Do

It’s a Democratic convention unlike any other. So who is it for? What does the party, and its presidential candidate, Joe Biden, need to accomplish? And how should they approach President Trump’s threats to a free and fair election? This week on the podcast, Frank Bruni and Michelle Goldberg are joined by Opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie and editorial board member Michelle Cottle for a round-table discussion of the virtual “nerd Coachella” that is the Democratic National Convention of 2020. Then, Michelle Cottle offers a homespun jukebox game that can take the whole family’s mind off politics and the pandemic. For background reading, visit

Aug 20, 2020
Is Individualism America’s Religion?

Five months after the editorial board’s science writer Jeneen Interlandi warned the hosts of “The Argument” that they should get comfortable in quarantine, she makes her return to the podcast to talk what comes next. Ross and Frank press Jeneen on herd immunity possibilities, how to fix the testing lags in the U.S., and the question on every parent and teacher’s mind: How can we open schools safely?

Then, Opinion writer Elizabeth Bruenig joins Frank and Ross for a debate on the moral obligations of the Roman Catholic Church in 2020. If the Movement for Black Lives is promulgating Catholic beliefs, why won’t the church say Black lives Matter? And how will Joe Biden’s Catholicism play a role in the election? Finally, Elizabeth recommends a break from omniscience.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Aug 13, 2020
Trump Supporters Make Their Case for 2020

What do Trump supporters talk about when they talk about 2020? This week Ross hosts a special intra-right debate over whether conservatives should support Trump in 2020. He plays “moderate squish” (i.e., NeverTrumper) to Pro-Trump conservatives Dan McCarthy, the editor of Modern Age, and Helen Andrews, a senior editor of The American Conservative. They disagree with Ross about the president’s handling of the coronavirus and argue against his ultimate question for Republicans in 2020: Should conservatives actually hope for a Trump loss in November? For background reading on this episode, visit

Aug 06, 2020
When Conservatives Fall for Demagogues

How did the conservative defenders of classical liberal ideals like free speech and the rule of law wind up abetting authoritarians across the West? With Ross out for the week, Frank and Michelle are joined by Anne Applebaum, author of “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism,” to debate the origins of the center right’s schism over nationalism. Then, if you’ve got consternation over cancel culture, Michelle has “The Joke” for you. For background reading on this episode, visit

Jul 30, 2020
The Case for a One-State Solution

The long-held hope of a two-state solution has dwindled under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and his threat of annexation. After decades of calling for the preservation of the Jewish nation through two separate states, the political journalist and scholar Peter Beinart has changed his mind. This week on “The Argument,” he joins Ross and Michelle to make the case for a one-state solution. Then, Frank joins Michelle and Ross for a discussion about Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and what they should be doing to defeat President Trump in November. For background reading on this episode, visit

Jul 23, 2020
A Conversation With Tammy Duckworth

Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois joins the Frank, Ross and Michelle for a four-way interview about monuments and Tucker Carlson, Russian bounties in Afghanistan, Medicare for all and taking care of a multigenerational family in a pandemic. Plus, what’s harder: home schooling a 5-year-old or flying a Black Hawk helicopter? Then, Frank recommends an album that offers a little hope, even if hope is a dangerous thing to have. For background reading on this episode, visit

Editor’s note: At 19:17, Senator Duckworth says universal background checks are supported by 95 percent of Americans. Polling generally finds support for universal background checks between 84 and 94 percent.

Jul 16, 2020
Is Trump's Fate Sealed?

Has Donald Trump already lost the election? This week on “The Argument,” Frank, Ross and Michelle debate whether Joe Biden already has the president beat in November, given historical precedent, polling and the president’s own predilections. Then, they turn to the question that every family of an American student is asking: How can school safely reopen in the fall? Plus, Michelle suggests you treat yourself to some escapism through “Self Care.” For background reading on this episode, visit

Jul 09, 2020
Whose Statue Must Fall?

Is America finally going through a social revolution? Or will empty gestures and virtue signaling by corporations and elite institutions drown out demands to overturn the country’s economic inequities? This week on “The Argument,” Opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie joins Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg to debate whether the recent changes symbolize a true turning point, or whether institutions are merely placating a powerful movement that they in some ways fear.

Then, the columnists turn to rethinking memorials across America: Who deserves a statue? Whose statue should be torn down? And, going forward, what do we want America to commemorate as its collective inheritance? For background reading on this episode, visit

Jul 02, 2020
Place Your Bets on Biden’s V.P.

Joe Biden has vowed to pick a woman as his running mate. But of the many qualified contenders, who should win the veepstakes? Michelle and Frank have different ideas as to whose name on the ticket could help push Biden to victory in November. Then, editorial board member Jesse Wegman joins Ross and Frank for a Supreme Court battle: has SCOTUS usurped Congress when it comes to legislating America’s culture wars? For background reading on this episode, visit

Jun 25, 2020
Which Opinions Are Out of Bounds?

After The New York Times published an Op-Ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton which called for a military response to civic unrest, readers and employees alike were in an uproar. In the two weeks since our last episode, a debate about what makes an idea worth amplifying has taken place inside the paper. This week, Frank, Michelle and Ross disagree about the publishing of the Op-Ed, and debate where the lines should be drawn around ideas too abhorrent to be presented in the public discourse. Then, a conversation about the reckoning across industries at the executive level. Is this #MeToo, 2.0, or something different? For background reading on this episode, visit

Jun 18, 2020
Can Riots Force Change?

All across the U.S., thousands are taking to the streets to protest the repeated police killings of black Americans. Images of unrest blanket mainstream and social media: militarized officers shooting demonstrators with clouds of tear gas; buildings and cars engulfed in flames; broken windows and looted store-fronts that leave community facades undeniably altered. This week on “The Argument,” what role can riots play in achieving social upheaval? Ross, Michelle and Frank disagree about the efficacy, and detriment, of riots as a tool for social change. Plus, a conversation about where the country and its leaders should go from here, and props to Atlanta's mayor. For background reading on this episode, visit

Jun 04, 2020
Credibility and Converts: Revisiting Tara Reade and Jane Roe

As reporting on the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden digs deeper into his accuser’s credibility, where does that leave the Democrats, the press and the #MeToo movement? The columnists debate Tara Reade and the court of public opinion around survivors and the accused. Then, what does Norma McCorvey’s "death bed" confession mean for the pro- and anti-choice movements? For background reading on this episode, visit

May 28, 2020
Did de Blasio Bungle the Crisis?

When New York’s coronavirus rates began to skyrocket in mid-March, they seemed like a portent for the rest of the country. But at this point, New York City has five times as many Covid-19-related deaths as the entire state of California, with just a quarter of its population. How much blame for New York City’s devastation should go to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s slow response and early downplaying of the danger? Has Gov. Andrew Cuomo earned the praise his briefings have brought him, given his questionable policy choices? debate who deserves blame for New York’s catastrophic mishandling of the crucial first weeks of the coronavirus. What mistakes led to the dispersion of the virus from the Empire State, and what lessons can be learned as other states start to reopen? Then, as the luxury of dining out becomes a distant memory and grocery aisles remain unpredictably stocked, what has quarantine done to the act of enjoying a meal? Plus an ode to humble staples that bring spice to life. For background reading on this episode, visit

May 21, 2020
Bill Barr’s Junk Justice

Is Attorney General Bill Barr’s dropping all charges against Michael Flynn an utter breakdown of justice? Or is it absurd to fixate on Flynn and dredge the Russia investigation up again amid a pandemic? Ross returns to debate Frank and Michelle over just how alarmed Americans should be by recent actions of the Trump Justice Department. Plus, what, exactly, is Obamagate? Then, when it comes to coronavirus, are we too quick to blame the sick? For background reading on this episode, visit

May 14, 2020
Who’s Afraid of Justin Amash?

Who would a third party candidate help in the 2020 presidential election? Would adding a Libertarian like Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan to the race hand President Trump his re-election? Or could Amash appeal to would-be Trump voters and goose up the Democrats’ chance at victory come November? With Ross still on parental leave, Frank and Michelle are joined by the Republican strategist Liz Mair to discuss the power third party candidates hold in presidential races. Then, Michelle and Frank hop on a Zoom call to talk about the positives and pitfalls of our new era of video conferencing in both work and play.

For background reading on this episode, visit

May 07, 2020
When Science Is Partisan

How can a president who shows disdain for science manage a crisis that requires faith in it? Frank and Michelle debate the federal government's coronavirus response with Yuval Levin, a former policy adviser to President George W. Bush and the founding editor of the conservative journal National Affairs. They talk the fallout of a pandemic hobbled by junk science, understaffed (and under-heeded) federal agencies, and a commander-in-chief lacking management skills. Plus, anti-vaxxers, America's science illiteracy and "President 4chan." For background reading on this episode, visit

Apr 30, 2020
Does New York Survive the Coronavirus?

How will the coronavirus change New York City — and what does the city’s response to the pandemic say about the rest of the country? In a special episode, Frank Bruni talks one-on-one with Ginia Bellafante, who writes The Times’s Big City column. For background reading on this episode, visit

Apr 23, 2020
The Biden Accusation

What should we make of an allegation of sexual assault lodged against Joe Biden? Frank, Ross and Michelle weigh evidence that supports and casts doubt on Tara Reade’s account, discuss the news media’s handling of Reade’s story and debate the similarities and differences between her accusation and other recent claims of sexual misconduct leveled at powerful men. Then, is the pandemic giving socialism in America a new gloss? For background reading on this episode, visit

Apr 16, 2020
Fighting Trump's Falsehoods

What’s the right way for the media to cover President Trump’s daily public briefings on the coronavirus pandemic? Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and the new co-host Frank Bruni debate whether the president is using journalists as foils, the ways in which his briefings have become a substitute for canceled campaign rallies and how his public pronouncements about the virus have become vectors for misinformation. Then, when everyone in America is socially distancing, how far apart is far enough? For background reading on this episode, visit

Apr 09, 2020
The President vs. the Governors

How is coronavirus — and President Trump’s response to it — hitting blue states and red states differently? Ross, Michelle and David debate. Then, how should Joe Biden change his campaign strategy around Trump’s coronavirus fumbles? Frank Bruni joins in the argument. And finally, a bittersweet goodbye. For background reading on this episode, visit

Apr 02, 2020
What's The Best Fix For a Recession?

As the coronavirus pandemic sends financial markets into a tailspin, strains gig economy workers and threatens the survival of businesses large and small, the columnists debate what policymakers should do to avert a virus-induced economic recession. Ross shares his own account of an increasingly American experience: feeling sick and waiting days for the results of a coronavirus test to come back. And an escapist recommendation worth a binge. For background reading on this episode, visit

Mar 26, 2020
How Do We Vote in a Pandemic?

Coronavirus is causing change in daily life all over the world - but what should we be doing? And how long is this going to last? Editorial board health writer Jeneen Interlandi joins David and Michelle for a conversation about best practices amid the pandemic. Then, how do you hold a presidential election in the middle of a public health emergency? The columnist duo discuss voting in the time of coronavirus, and David recommends you give your future self the gift of recollection. For background reading on this episode, visit

Mar 19, 2020
The Pandemic vs. The President

Is President Trump's underreaction to the coronavirus a reason for more draconian measures to lock down the pandemic? Would more efforts to control the spread by the Trump administration help or hurt the country's preparedness for the impact? Ross Douthat and David Leonhardt debate this, and Western society's descent into dangerous decadence, in this live podcast recording at The Times Center in New York City.

For background reading on this live episode, visit

Mar 12, 2020
How Biden Came Back

Super Tuesday has left the Democratic primary race with two clear front runners: Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. The columnists debate how we got here, and what this week's voting results mean for the rest of the 2020 race. Then, as the coronavirus epidemic approaches pandemic status, how alarmed should we feel and what can be done to limit the spread of the disease? Plus, Michelle suggests you walk through fire.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Mar 05, 2020
Trump Emboldened

Less than a month after the end of his impeachment trial, are we witnessing an emboldened President Trump? The columnists discuss Trump’s cascade of norm-breaking following his acquittal by the Senate — and what it portends for the run-up to the November election. Then, would a proposed executive order aimed at “making federal buildings beautiful again” be an aesthetic win for democracy, or mark a descent into architectural kitsch? Plus, feeding cheetahs. For background reading on this episode, visit

Feb 27, 2020
Could Bloomberg Buy the Nomination?

Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential candidacy is getting a boost from massive ad spending, but has it successfully hacked the attention of voters and the media? Will his newfound ascendancy survive a fuller airing of his record? Opinion writer Charlie Warzel joins Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt for the discussion. Then Charlie offers a grim explainer of (and some hopeful solutions to) the death of personal privacy in the digital age.

For background reading on this episode, visit

Feb 20, 2020
Are We Headed for a Bernie Sweep?

Is Senator Bernie Sanders on an unstoppable path to the Democratic nomination — and if so, can he defeat President Trump in November? The columnists discuss the results of the New Hampshire primary and what they portend for the next contests in the race. Then, should Valentine's Day be canceled once and for all? For background reading on this episode, visit

Feb 13, 2020
What Did We Learn in Iowa?

What does the debacle of the Iowa caucuses mean for the trajectory of the 2020 Democratic race? The columnists discuss the Democratic electorate's neat split on the ground in Iowa, Bernie Sanders's path to the nomination, and whether the Hawkeye State still deserves its first-in-the-nation status. Then, how worried should we be about the Wuhan coronavirus — and what does its spread say about China’s global standing? For background reading on this episode, visit

Feb 06, 2020
Trump's Best Case Against Impeachment

President Trump hasn't tried to mount a logical case against removing him from office. But what if they did? Ross Douthat channels an argument the White House could instead be making instead. Then, Ezra Klein, the founding editor of Vox and author of the new book “Why We’re Polarized,” joins Ross and David to discuss the roots, implications and future of America’s current era of partisan polarization. For background reading on this episode, visit

Jan 30, 2020
Why Endorse Two Candidates?

Which 2020 Democratic contender would be the best nominee to take on President Trump? The New York Times editorial board gave its endorsement to two candidates -- Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar -- and the columnists disagree with it. Katie Kingsbury, who leads the editorial board and hosts "The Choice" podcast about the endorsement, joins the columnists to make the case for the dual endorsement. Then, David pitches his colleagues on an unorthodox thought experiment meant to help deflate America’s partisan tensions.

Jan 23, 2020
Introducing 'The Choice' from NYT Opinion

Since 1860, the New York Times editorial board has been endorsing a candidate for president (they went for the tall Republican that year). Historically they've made their decision after off-the-record interviews with the leading candidates, followed by intense internal debate over who would make the best leader for the era's particular needs. But this year the board is breaking its own rules and showing the work behind their endorsement. They're sharing all the conversations that led them to make their decision. "The Choice," a limited-run daily podcast from The New York Times Opinion section, brings you inside the boardroom every day for a different primary candidate's endorsement interview. You'll also get a daily bonus episode of the board's deliberations after the candidate leaves the room, and go deeper into a different key issue in the 2020 race. In our series finale, you'll hear the board debate all the candidates and make their final decision. Host Katie Kingsbury will join the columnists on "The Argument" next Thursday to make the case for the candidate the board endorses. Until then, tune in to "The Choice" to help you make your own. Produced by At Will Media.

Jan 17, 2020
Could Bernie Sanders Win It All?

Has Bernie Sanders been woefully underestimated? The columnists discuss the Vermont senator’s rise in 2020 polling, his current spat with rival progressive Elizabeth Warren and whether Sanders has been given short shrift by Democratic Party insiders and the national news media. Then, as Michelle talks through the next column she's writing: Technology was supposed to solve the world’s problems, but it seems to have made more unsolvable ones. Is tech why the future looks so grim? For background reading on this episode, visit

Jan 16, 2020
Does Trump Have an Iran Strategy?

After an American drone strike killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran and heightened tensions in the Middle East, does President Trump have a plan for what comes next? The columnists discuss the nightmare phase of the Trump presidency, an ominous turn in modern international conflict, and the potential for relative stability. Then, the political scientist Lee Drutman joins the columnists to make the case for how America can and should move past its two-party political system. And Ross visits a pet store with a pro-family policy. For background reading on this episode, visit

Jan 09, 2020
What We Got Wrong in 2019

In the last "Argument" of the year, the columnists gather 'round for a little holiday self-flagellation. After a look back on their biggest pundit mistakes of 2019, we hear from listeners about their political New Years' resolutions, and share some of our own. Then Michelle convinces Ross to give Damon Lindelof a second chance after all those hours he wasted trying to figure out "Lost." For background reading on this episode, visit

Dec 26, 2019
Impeachment Edition

After weeks of public hearings, debate and charges against President Donald Trump at long last, has impeachment actually changed anyone's mind? This week on “The Argument,” the columnists talk polling, persuasion and public opinion on impeachment. Then, what do the results of last week’s British elections portend for Democrats in the U.S. — and what does Brexit mean for the future of the U.K.? For background reading on this episode, visit

Dec 19, 2019
Why Is the Democratic Primary So White?

The Democratic Party’s electorate is highly diverse, but its top-polling presidential contenders are all white. What gives? The columnists talk Kamala Harris’s exit from the race, Cory Booker’s failure to launch and the polling ascendancy of their white opponents. Then, “ok boomer” is more than just a dismissive meme. From culture to politics, the columnists talk why we can’t escape the baby boomer generation. For background reading on this episode, visit

Dec 12, 2019
Should College Be Free?

Should public colleges be tuition-free? Should student loan debt be forgiven? The columnists discuss Pete Buttigieg’s criticisms of his more liberal Democratic rivals’ plans to reduce the costs of higher education, and debate the cost and funding of higher education. Then, birthrates around the world are falling. Anna Louie Sussman joins the conversation on the causes and implications of what she defined in her recent Times op-ed, “The End of Babies.” For background reading on this episode, visit

Dec 05, 2019
Are Public Impeachment Hearings Working?

Are the impeachment hearings moving the needle on public opinion? Times columnist David Brooks joins Ross and Michelle to discuss the Democrats’ impeachment strategy so far. Then, is America’s tipping system immoral? The columnists discuss a recent column of David’s that takes issue with how gratuities impact service workers. For background reading on this episode, visit

Nov 21, 2019
Will New Candidates Shake Up the 2020 Race?

Why are Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick flirting with jumping into the 2020 presidential primary this late in the game? The columnists debate what the pair’s maneuvers say about the state of the race and whether either stands a chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. Then, the anonymous author of a controversial Times op-ed is out with a new book about the resistance inside the Trump administration. The columnists discuss whether that resistance has been effective in constraining the president. For background reading on this episode, visit

Nov 14, 2019
Is Mayor Pete the Answer?

Is Pete Buttigieg the best Democratic candidate to take on Trump? The columnists size up the South Bend mayor’s rise in Iowa and a new Times poll terrifying those who fear Trump’s re-election. Then: California is beset by catastrophic wildfires, growing income inequality and a decrease in overall livability. Are the state’s woes a leading indicator of America’s bleak future? For background reading on this episode, visit

Nov 07, 2019
Should Facebook Be Fact-Checked?

Should Facebook be more strict when it comes to fact-checking political ads? The columnists debate growing concern over the social media giant’s role in American politics. Then, the writer Tara Isabella Burton joins Ross and Michelle for a Halloween-inspired discussion of astrology, witchcraft, the decline of religious observance and American millennials’ growing interest in the occult. For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 31, 2019
How to Win Impeachment

Impeachment seems destined to end with President Trump’s acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate. But is there anything Democrats can do to change that outcome? The columnists debate the Democrats’ impeachment strategy so far. Then, they discuss the increasing rise of deaths from drug overdoses, alcohol and suicide. What’s driving these so-called “deaths of despair,” and what — if anything — can be done about them? For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 24, 2019
The Other Candidates Are Coming for Warren

Under attack from Democratic rivals, can Elizabeth Warren hold on to her new front-runner status in the 2020 presidential primary? The columnists discuss the fallout from the fourth primary debate, where all the attention was on the senator from Massachusetts, and where the race could go from here. Then, “The Argument” celebrates its first birthday! After a full year of disagreeing with each other weekly, the columnists reflect on moments in their careers where their own minds changed. For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 17, 2019
Is the Threat of Impeachment Emboldening Trump?

Is the threat of impeachment making President Trump more erratic — and more dangerous? Jamelle Bouie joins Ross Douthat and David Leonhardt to discuss Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and his defiance in the face of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Then, with the conservative-leaning Supreme Court back in session and a slew of big cases on the docket, should Democrats answer Republicans’ constitutional hardball with court packing? For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 10, 2019
Will the G.O.P. Turn Against Trump?

As evidence mounts that Donald Trump abused the power of the presidency, could members of his own party start to turn against him? The columnists debate Republicans’ response to the impeachment inquiry, Trump’s proliferating scandals and Attorney General William Barr’s efforts to undermine the Mueller report findings. Then, whose armrest is it anyway? The columnists debate airplane etiquette. Warning: Sexual violence is briefly mentioned in the final segment of this episode. For background reading on this episode, visit

Oct 03, 2019
Get Ready for Impeachment

Is the impeachment of Donald Trump finally just a matter of time? The columnists discuss how the president’s attempt to pressure a foreign government to undermine a political rival quickly turned a progressive pipe dream into an inquiry backed by most House Democrats. Then, the other 2020 primary: three eclectic Republicans running to unseat the incumbent president of their own party. What do their quixotic campaigns say about the state — and the future — of the G.O.P.? For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 26, 2019
Can We Talk About Biden’s Age?

Is Joe Biden’s shakiness on the stump a sign that he’s just too old to run for president? Or is it just proof that some of his critics are ageist? The columnists debate the state of Biden’s 2020 campaign. Then, has “cancel culture” run amok? Or is it a deserved consequence for conduct society shouldn’t tolerate? For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 19, 2019
Can Republicans Escape Racism?

Is the Democratic Party prematurely winnowing its crop of presidential candidates? The columnists discuss the narrowing 2020 field, and whether the D.N.C.'s arbitrary criteria is stripping ideological diversity from the Democratic debates. Then, can American conservatism exist free of racism? For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 12, 2019
Are Democrats Throwing Away the Senate?

Are Democrats already blowing their best chance to take the Senate back from Mitch McConnell next year? This week on “The Argument,” the columnists talk the state of the other 2020 race(s) worth paying attention to. Then, a conversation with Times editorial board member Binyamin Appelbaum about how much we should blame economists for the rise of income inequality. For background reading on this episode, visit

Sep 05, 2019
One-on-One With Marianne Williamson
Aug 22, 2019
Is Josh Hawley the Future of the G.O.P.?
Aug 15, 2019
Does Trump Help Fuel Mass Shootings?
Aug 08, 2019
Is Impeachment Finally Happening?
Aug 01, 2019
Why Isn’t Trump Trying to Win the Center?
Jul 25, 2019
Will Trump's Racism Sink the G.O.P.?
Jul 18, 2019
What Is Nancy Pelosi Thinking?
Jul 11, 2019
Is Biden Doomed?
Jul 03, 2019
One-on-One With Cory Booker
Jun 26, 2019
Are We Headed For War With Iran?
Jun 20, 2019
Death to the Meritocracy With Andrew Yang
Jun 13, 2019
Are Democrats Too Scared to Impeach? (LIVE from Boston)
Jun 06, 2019
The United States of Socialism?
May 30, 2019
President Pete? One-on-One With Buttigieg
May 23, 2019
Is Trump Right About China?
May 16, 2019
Is the Trump Economic Boom for Real?
May 09, 2019
How to Fix the Criminal Justice System
May 02, 2019
Is It Time to Impeach Trump?
Apr 25, 2019
Which 2020 Underdogs Stand a Chance? (LIVE from NYC)
Apr 17, 2019
Should Biden Run?
Apr 04, 2019
Who Botched the Mueller Report?
Mar 28, 2019
Is Trump Causing White Terrorism?
Mar 21, 2019
One-on-One With Elizabeth Warren
Mar 13, 2019
How Does the Catholic Church Redeem Itself?
Mar 07, 2019
Will Michael Cohen's Testimony Doom Trump?
Feb 28, 2019
Is Trump the Real National Emergency?
Feb 21, 2019
Is the Green New Deal a Leftist Fantasy?
Feb 14, 2019
The Abortion Argument
Feb 07, 2019
Who's Ahead in the Race to Beat Trump?
Jan 31, 2019
Have Republicans Betrayed the Working Class?
Jan 24, 2019
How Trump Loses the G.O.P.
Jan 17, 2019
Why Do Powerful Women Make America Panic?
Jan 10, 2019
Your Questions, Answered
Jan 03, 2019
Should Weed Be Legal?
Dec 20, 2018
Will Trump's Presidency Survive 2019?
Dec 13, 2018
Is Donald Trump A Traitor?
Dec 06, 2018
What Do We Do About Climate Change?
Nov 29, 2018
Do We Need A Third Party?
Nov 21, 2018
Is Amazon Bad for America?
Nov 15, 2018
Did Trump Lose The Midterms?
Nov 08, 2018
Who's to Blame for American Political Violence?
Nov 01, 2018
How Screwed Up Is American Democracy?
Oct 25, 2018
Is Trump Destroying the World Order?
Oct 18, 2018
Is the Supreme Court Broken?
Oct 11, 2018
Introducing The Argument, an Opinion podcast from The New York Times
Oct 04, 2018