My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

By Bruce Carlson

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Subscribers: 829
Reviews: 3

Matt
 Aug 18, 2018
I listened to this podcast for years without knowing the personal political views of the author. To me that speaks volumes. This podcast is a great view into history's parallels with current events, presented in an interesting way.

Kevin
 Aug 17, 2018
MHCBUYP is required listening for anyone interested in diving into the uniquely compelling intricacies of American political history. Informing, entertaining, and addicting.

Jason
 Aug 17, 2018
One of the best, politically neutral podcasts for analysis of current political events within the context of history. No Spin, No Bias, ... just good historical context for the issues we face today.

Description

Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history

Episode Date
The 1880 Election and The Morey Letter: a Tale of October Surprise, Immigration, Memes and Counter Memes and Nothing to Do with Today's Politics
59:52

The 1880 election was close, with Democrats and Republicans seeking an advantage in its waning days when a letter hits a major city newspaper purporting to be in the hand of a candidate.  It is a letter that could turn the election.  With Todd Arrington, a historian at the  James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio, we discuss James A. Garfield's surprise nomination and the Morey letter.  We also discuss what could have been had Garfield lived.

Sep 17, 2020
All That Stuff Before the Debate Happens
46:00

From belt buckles to town-hall meetings, to letting the veeps debate, a history of debate negotiations.

Sep 08, 2020
Cholera and Benjamin Harrison
41:01

In 1892, a dreaded disease caused a President to navigate local health situation and created a new law.  We look at the precedent-setting quarantine order of the 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison.  While we are at it, we look at Harrison's presidency, policies, his influence on future events, his failed attempt to obtain fair elections for both African Americans and city dwellers, and how he annoyed Theodore Roosevelt.

Sep 01, 2020
"It Looked Like Hell" - The Story of The 1980 DNC Convention w/ Rick Perlstein, Author of 'Reaganland'
01:17:30

The Democratic Convention in New York City in 1980 was not the example to follow for how to run a convention. With the help of "Reaganland" author and historian Rick Perlstein, we look at one of the most frustrating modern conventions. The fight between Ted Kennedy and Carter for the nomination, obscure rules challenges, delegates cajoled by generals, men in green and white, just a blip of Bill Clinton, Communists and fireworks, speech flubs and the handshake that doomed a ticket are among the items discussed.

Please go out and get Rick Perlstein's Reaganland, available today.

Aug 18, 2020
Top 10 Worst VP Picks in History
39:02

Usually a choice at the top of the ticket helps. But sometimes it doesn't. Bruce goes into his Top 10 Worst VP Picks.

Aug 11, 2020
Best Convention Ever? New York, 1976 DNC
01:36:32

The convention that nominated then-unknown Jimmy Carter in 1976 convention was worth 30 percentage points in the polls, and is seen as one of the best organized events by many who study politics. We look at what happened - from a strict chairman's gavel to a secret VP pick, from expert badge distribution to garbage cleanup, Along with possibly bugged phones, polyester suits, Delegate stories, Hunter Thompson and Joe Biden appearances., peanuts and fried chicken.   And a Yellow Camaro that changed the Presidency by flipping an unexpected state Carter's way.  We talk to three convention delegates about their experiences with an upstart campaign that went all the way to New York.  

(1980 four years later would be was one of the worst run. More on that in a few weeks.)

Music by Lee Rosevere and Dee Yan Key

Jul 27, 2020
The Man in the Cave and Other Stories of the Signers of The Declaration of Independence
05:23:13

We know Jefferson and Franklin, but what about the other signers - John Hart, John Penn, William Williams, Richard Stockton, William Whipple, John Morgan, William Floyd, George Read and others.

I released this series as its own podcast in 2012, some listeners may have listened to it.  I have combined it into one volume.  

Jul 03, 2020
Partisanship, 1850's Style w/ Josh Mensch, co-author of The Lincoln Conspiracy
01:02:35

High political stakes, secret plots, Plug Uglies armed with sharp awls to help 'convince' voters... Baltimore in the 1850's was a fearsome place where politics and gangs were hard to separate.  Yet it was the connecting stop for new Presidents and Union Soldiers getting to Washington D.C.  We speak with Josh Mensch.  Josh is the co-author with Brad Meltzer of the New York Times bestselling nonfiction history book The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America’s 16th President—and Why It Failed

We talk to Josh about his book, the story of the plot to stop Lincoln's Presidency even before it happened, how it was foiled, and about political partisanship in America then and now.  

Jul 01, 2020
A Powder Keg About to Explode: Newark, NJ 1967
01:05:05

Newark N.J. suffered a brutal and consuming riot, or rebellion, depending on how you see things, in the hot summer of 1967. Through the voices of history, we hear about those events, what caused it, and the musician who got caught up and became an unlikely spark. Caught off guard, police and National Guard and a scuffle became a war, some say outside agitators and opportunist looters planned it all; others say police and Guard units rioted themselves.  Most agreed - they didn't want to see it again. The line between crime and politics, the role of the riots in change, a government report that called out the madness of it all. How the '67 events caused a change in government, was noticed in national politics, and how it remains an influence even for today's events.

Jun 08, 2020
The Cabinet, George Washington's Creation, with Lindsay M. Chervinsky
42:01

George Washington did not get a Cabinet as President. He created it. His precedents forged the institution and the President's relationship to the Executive Departments. Washington didn't fire a cabinet member, but he set the precedents in this area and in others. We are joined by Lindsay M. Chervinsky, a historian with the
white house historian Her book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution has been published by Harvard University Press.

May 26, 2020
What The Great Depression Felt Like, And Other Things
01:07:17

What caused The Great Depression, did FDR do anything to fix it, and how does it compare to our recent recessions? A 2008 cast that holds up well...As events started to take shape in '08, , I remember sitting down in a park and scribbling the base of this podcast, with factoids thrown in later and stories from letters to the editors of newspapers of those who suffered through the Great Depression, and some from Studs Terkel's work.   

May 17, 2020
History's Nine Most Insane Rulers w Scott Rank of "History Unplugged" Podcast
01:08:32

We talk about Idi Amin, Kim Jong-il and other despots with Scott Rank of History Unplugged Podcast.  He joins us to talk about his book History's Nine Most Insane Rulers.  We get into Amin's awful suppression of opposition, deportation of Indian and Pakistani Ugandans, and extra judicial killings.  Other insane rulers were more amusing, and we talk about that too.   Lee Rosevere provides music on this program - check out his music on bandcamp.com

May 12, 2020
Kent State: After the Bullets
01:03:25

We know that on May 4th, 1970, fifty years ago, four students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State in Ohio.  What is not always known is everything that happened after that.  Opinion wasn't universally with the slain students, the school had little interest in memorializing for decades, courts turned a blind eye, and the criminal justice system focused not at those who killed students but at thee students themselves.  We look at Kent State and everything that happened after the shots was fired,, including dozens of stories.  We talk to Howard Ruffner, author of "Moments of Truth" and both a photographer that day and an eyewitness to the events.  His photo appeared in LIFE magazine thee week of the shootings. We also discuss the famous screaming photograph, the iconic image of Kent State and how the photo changed the life of its subject.  We discuss the Tent City protests of alumni, students and parents, the fight over a memorial in the 80s and 90s.  And the statue that spoke through its metal about the day.

May 03, 2020
Measure Everything: Ark of Commerce Part 5
01:23:03

An unknown man in a forgotten office develops a number that makes and breaks Presidents. A poet turns his song towards a metal object. Two 19th century men tire themselves out making machines They can't know their work will one day put us on the Moon.   And a man tries to invent an un-commerce, but may have built the 21st century economy instead. In the fifth episode of our series on American commerce, we look at the appraisal and measuring and counting of business.

Apr 19, 2020
Make It Stop: When Commerce Stopped (Ark of Commerce Part 4 Replay)
01:12:46

When we aired this last year, the topic of commerce shutting down did not seem timely.  Thus a re-run of our fourth of a series on American commerce, a look at three instances of when U.S. commerce was stopped seems appropriate.  From an offensive war effort, to a bid for peace, to a management of peacetime. And we look at the effects of those interventions. The embargo of 1807 is an important part of the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, not often examined in detailed compared to other events. It brought serious economic problems, but was held up by Jefferson as an experiment by a peaceful power. We also examine his Treasury Secretary Gallatin, who had to implement the plan. We also look at Wilson's railroad takeover and Nixon's wage price board

 

Apr 18, 2020
Truman, the Marshall Plan and the 1948 Election w/ A.J. Baime
01:15:57

A look at Truman,, the Marshall Plan and the 1948 Election.  Why Truman thought he won, and why his opponent Dewey thought he ended up losing.   How he pulled it off.  With A.J. Baime, author of Dewey Beats Truman.  This is A.J. Baime's second appearance on the podcast.  Big national projects, big sacrifice and an incumbent President up for election all figure in.  

Apr 02, 2020
Stop Carter: A Story of 1976 Politics
35:49

The last-minute bid of California Governor Jerry Brown to unseat Jimmy Carter's nomination raised a lot of questions about politics that are still present today.  Should electability be a factor among primary voters?  Can you out-new the new candidate?  What time is the right time for candidates to 'get out' Should critics shut up to help a nominee in the general or speak their mind?  This, and the surprising figure still very much in politics today who tried to Stop Carter.  

Mar 23, 2020
Swan Events: Democratic Debates, COVID19 and Other Topics w/ Chris Novembrino of Don't Worry About the Government Podcast
01:36:01

Big discussion with Chris Novembrino of Don't Worry About the Government Podcast.  The Democratic campaign started with over 20 people but ended up in a retro pattern of two candidates by March, a virus has entered politics, an incumbent is up for re-election.  What does it all mean?  

Mar 15, 2020
American Epidemic: Philadelphia's Yellow Fever of 1793
37:17

Five thousand people died in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States in just a few months.  Between August and November of 1793.  Thousands of others, including the President, fled the city.   Preachers told of sins coming to roost, while doctors looked to mercury and bloodletting.  In this recast of a 2014 episode, we look at this epidemic and the reaction to it at the time, what healthcare looked like in the 1790's, and other topics.

Mar 12, 2020
The Spanish Flu of 1918 and Its Aftermath - Conversation with Laura Spinney
35:06

We speak with Laura Spinney, science journalist and author of "Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World" and discuss the dreadful disease that claimed 50-100 million lives, more than the Great War that preceded it.  The so-called 'Spanish Flu' caused global damage but also caused scientists to reflect and develop better science and public health strategies.  And it forced new measures implemented by governments.  But how much have we learned those lessons?  We discuss these topics.  

Mar 02, 2020
Disco Demolition and The First South Carolina Primary
41:35

A look at the first South Carolina primary in 1980 and its intended role at the time as a firewall for conservative politics. We also look at how disco sucked, Dylan went Christian and some events that happened at the same time, all unrelated but in their own way meaningful. Lee Rosevere's excellent Music for Podcasts featured on the episode.

Feb 23, 2020
Washington and The Bill of Rights: A Mystery
29:12

George Washington was highly influential in constructing a Constitution, but less so when it comes to the Bill of Rights. A few of them he even found unnecessary. We just don't know which ones.

We talk about Washington's role in the convention, his influence on government and what clues he gave in his politics of silence.

Feb 15, 2020
Iowa, Impeachment and the Universe
42:24

A stubborn impeached governor, odd caucus locations, real estate and politics. Bruce talks about the Iowa Caucus, how it works, changes in 2020, its history and influence and what things look like this year. Impeachment and the current universe of politics in the United States. He finds a silver lining in the whole impeachment discussion, and discuss impeachment and political fallout, and Trump's chances.

Feb 02, 2020
The 25th Amendment, Section Four Explained, w/ Brian C. Kalt
46:56

The Constitution contains two possible forms of presidential removal outside of election, one is the much-discussed impeachment process. The other is the 25th Amendment's fourth section. We discuss 25 Section 4 with Professor Brian C. Kalt, Professor of Law & Harold Norris Faculty Scholar at Michigan State University, including how the amendment works, its uses and its common misunderstanding by the public and Hollywood writers.

Jan 21, 2020
Eyewitness to Kent State Shootings: Paula Stone Tucker
54:29


The May 4, 1970 shootings at Kent State killed 4 students and wounded 9. Paula Stone Tucker was a student going through her work and studies on campus when she witnessed a historic event. We talk about Kent State, how the 4 days unfolded, and get Paula Stone Tucker's take on events. She is the author of the book Surviving a Kent State Memoir.

We are grateful to Ohio vs. the World Podcast for lending the story of another Kent State shooting survivor Dean Kahler. Sign up for Alex's podcast.

Jan 08, 2020
Operation Eagle Claw and the 1979 Iran Embassy Storming
46:20

Eagle Claw, popularly known as Desert One, was the unsuccessful attempt to rescue hostages in Iran in 1980, hostages that had been held since the storming of the embassy in 1979.  Replaying two previous podcasts on the topic, we look at the hostage-taking and the rescue attempt.  How the plan may have worked?  What went wrong?  Also, why the embassy was stormed in 1979 and why it was the second time that year.  Why one hostage was mad that he was rescued.  These topics are discussed and more.

Jan 03, 2020
Mister 22 and Mister 24: Grover Cleveland
36:46

A look at Grover Cleveland, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.

Jan 01, 2020
Unfriending From Jefferson and Adams, to today
51:02

A look at the famous series of letters between Jefferson and Adams.  Friends as young diplomats, they 'unfriended' and 'refriended' from the time of their Presidencies and politics to their old age.

Jan 01, 2020
Geeks, Orcs and Herbert Hoover
27:35

Christmastime, New Years are upon us, and so a fun-little episode I enjoyed recording on the history of radio from the start as Geek Fare to a big business! The history of radio and Herbert Hoover’s role in speaks a bit to the debate over ‘fake news’ today, though I wouldn’t have had the foresight to make direct commentary on the subject  in Jan 2014 when we first aired it.  We get  a bit into role playing and gaming as well.  

Dec 25, 2019
Articles of Impeachment, Senate Trials, More
01:10:21

We discuss the current politics in the country and what impeachment means now, will impeachment become routine, how the Thanksgiving table has entered politics rather than the other way around. Plus we talk Clinton and impeachment and replay our interview with Leon Neyfakh of the Slow Burn podcast.

Dec 16, 2019
Impeachment - Conversation with David Priess and Bruce Carlson
01:11:38

It's all of those things.  Conversation with David Priess, MHCBUYP listener, COO of Lawfare, Author of several books - about impeachment and the decision to impeach, and the many sides to this question from Tyler to Clinton to Trump.  

Dec 02, 2019
A World Disrupted - Interview w/ Charles Emmerson, Author of "Crucible - The Long End of the Great War and the Birth of a New World, 1917-1924"
39:19

The years from 1917 to 1924 are fractured yet formative for the world. After a terrible war, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are forever changed. New movements and scientific developments occur. We speak with Charles Emmerson, author of "Crucibe The Long End to the Great War and the Birth of a New World" about the period between 1917 and 1924 and what it says about today.

Dec 02, 2019
You Break Everybody's Back Part II: The 1988 Election
01:14:37

Attack videos, apology tours, inoculation ads, presidential circles and glib phrases make up the scuttle for the Presidential race in 1988.  Part II of our series.  Biden's all, Dole's rise, Hart's second coming and  the 3x5 card that won the race.  

Nov 16, 2019
You Break Everybody's Back: The 1988 Election - Part One
01:37:26

The quote from Atwater sums up the race 31 years ago nicely. Gephardt eyes a rusty belt. Dole proto-snarks, Jackson thunders, Biden runs a post route, Bush looks for his soul. Dukakis tries error free ball. Simon finds his inner bow tie and Bruce Babbit also runs. Find leadership where you can. What could it possibly say about today's times?

Nov 15, 2019
A Deep Dive into The Emancipation Proclamation
30:10

What was the true function of the Proclamation and the context surrounding it?  How did people react at this time?  Was slavery the true cause of the Civil War, and should North and South fit into liberal and conservative boxes.  Could Congress pick the President?  And what podcast advice does Bruce have?  Bruce takes Listener Questions in this episode.

Music from Chris Zabriskie, Chris Novembrino and Lee Rosevere on this episode. 

Nov 14, 2019
Switching VIces
01:09:10

We look at vice presidential and vice presidential candidate switches throughout history.  And we speculate if a tactic last used in 1976 might find its way into the 2020 Election.  We also get into the McGovern-Eagleton 1972 events and talk about Nixon and Hunter Thompson's car ride.

Nov 11, 2019
Butterfield: Nixon’s Watergate Frenemy
22:27

Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy COS who revealed the existence of the taping system in the White House, gets only a small mention in Watergate history but he has a lot to contribute to the understanding of it.   He recently spoke to Bob Woodward in a new book and his account and the records he kept for decades.

Nov 05, 2019
Stop Talking About Momentum: The Race for President 1984
01:15:26

It wasn't supposed to be a race.  Gary Hart, Walter Mondale, Jesse Jackson, John Glenn battle to take on Ronald Reagan in 1984.  As do some other candidates.  We look at the race that year and mine it for any insights into 2020 and American politics in general.    

Oct 22, 2019
The Mystery of Impeachment - How it Works, What Happened in 1868 and More
01:18:43

Savior or scoundrel?  We look at the case of one of the most celebrated heroes of Presidential impeachment.  And in the course of that - we look at the  Chase, Clinton and Johnson precedents for attempted impeachment, we attempt to answer questions about this oft-discussed, rarely used, and perhaps, poorly understood Constitutional function.

 That the President would be subject to impeachment was almost never questioned.  And the language in the Constitution is clear.  But that doesn't mean all questions are answered.  Why is impeachment so rarely used?  Why does the Senate try the President?  Does the Senate become a Court when it does, or stay the Senate?  What is a High "Misdemeanor?" And what does Aaron Burr have to do with all of this?

 

Our sponsor for this episode is Bombfell.   www.bombfell.com/myhistory a styling service for men.    Try out their service for $25 off your first purchase.  

Oct 20, 2019
Beam Me Up: The James Traficant Story w/ Alex Hastie of The Ohio v. The World Podcast
01:02:03

We discuss the life and career of Youngstown, Ohio congressman James Traficant with Alex Hastie of Ohio v. The World Podcast. We rerun part of the episode from his podcast.   We hear from Eric Murphy, director of the documentary "The Congressman from Crimetown"  https://vimeo.com/ondemand/traficant  The frumpled congressman was a fixture of Ohio politics and a national controversial figure until his death in 2014.  We discuss do as you please politics and if there is similarity between Traficant and Trump. 

Oct 20, 2019
Small Money and Big Hope / Dasher's Run
33:08

A bit about small money donors in history, and about Jimmy Carter's (Code name Dasher) 1976 run.  A rebroadcast of an episode that seems apt as another campaign begins.  

Oct 11, 2019
Why is There an Electoral College?
40:22

A look at the Senator who tried to end the Electoral College and the original reasons for it.  It has as much to do with 1969 as it does with 1787

Sep 24, 2019
Brexit, Boris and UK and Irish Politics w/ Steven Byrne from What am Politics
01:01:40

We talk about the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brexit, and Irish politics with Steven Byrne of What Am Politics Podcast.

Aug 31, 2019
How to Rank The Presidents, with Susan Swain and Brian Lamb of C-SPAN
34:20

With C-SPAN's Susan Swain and Brain Lamb we talk Theodore Roosevelt and LBJ.  And we discuss their book The Presidents, and the unique ranking system they use to assess and order America's POTUSes.  e also talk abut some of the historians who helped them.  

Jul 24, 2019
The Flag on the Moon - A Story of Politics
30:45

"If we can put a man on the Moon, we can.."  So went myriad complaints about spending at home during the Gemini and Apollo Missions, up to Apollo 11 and after.  In this episode we look at the Moon Landing and its politics.  Including a seemingly apolitical decision to plant a flag on the Moon's surface.  

Jul 14, 2019
The History of the Federal Reserve
26:43

A Brief history of the Federal Reserve. 

Jun 18, 2019
The Ark of Commerce Part IV: Make It Stop
01:12:46

In our fourth of a series on American commerce, a look at three instances of when U.S. commerce was stopped, for a variety of reasons - from an offensive war effort, to a bid for peace, to a management of peacetime.  And we look at the effects of those interventions.  The embargo of 1807 is an important part of the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, not often examined in detailed compared to other events. It brought serious economic problems, but was held up by Jefferson as an experiment by a peaceful power. We also examine his Treasury Secretary Gallatin, who had to implement the plan. We also look at Wilson's railroad takeover and Nixon's wage price board. 

May 23, 2019
Sedition, Presidents and the Press
01:36:33

From John Adams and the Alien Sedition Act, Lincoln's rage and FDR's giggling sidekicks, from JFK's light warnings to Trump and the press as the people's enemy, we look at the relationship between President and the Press.  Plus we are joined by Chris Novembrino of the Don't Worry About the Government and All in the Family Podcast to discuss recent effects, where the press stands today, and why actions of the 18th century may still be alive in today's politics.  

Music from Lee Rosevere, Nctrnm, AAAlato and Chris Zabriskie in this episode.  

May 01, 2019
Surprising Facts About Accidental Presidents - Interview w Jared Cohen
51:34

Surprising facts about the presidencies of John Tyler, JFK, LBJ, Chester Arthur and Millard Fillmore from Jared Cohen, author of Accidental Presidents, Eight Men Who Changed America. From Tyler's Grandkids, Arthur's Secret Correspondent and Adviser, and a new fact about LBJ's place on the ticket we discuss some surprising facts about those who became president by surprise.

Apr 19, 2019
Third Parties: The Moped and the Maserati - Why Third Parties Haven't Won in American Politics
24:20

About 3rd parties, with a focus on John Anderson's campaign and many others.

Mar 20, 2019
The Myth of "The Founding Fathers Said..This or That!"
31:49

In this episode we look at the concept of "Founding Fathers."  It's not a term common to use on this podcast, but it's not without any meaning either.  We look at the early Americans that helped to 'found' the nation.  One thing is clear - there's a lot of them.  

Mar 19, 2019
Woodrow Wilson Has No Friends: Wilson, His Politics and His Image Today with Patricia O'Toole
49:55

Or so it seems these days.  Liberals, conservatives, anti-globalists, Fed haters, socialists, libertarians all have a bone to pick with him.  how much criticism does he deserve?   We speak with Patricia O'Toole, the author of 'The Moralist - Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made."We look at the politics of tariffs, foreign policy, intervention, immigration, war and race through the lens of Woodrow Wilson.  

Remember to subscribe to My History Can Beat Up Your Politics on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, CastBox, Google Play or your favorite podcast app.  

Mar 18, 2019
The Slaughter Could Not Be Ignored -
01:12:43

Rerun from 2013, but obviously seems very relevant now.  A look at this attempt at a single, fix it amendment, to get over a reluctant President, which didn't work but has impacts on today's politics.

Mar 15, 2019
You Don't Know About Franklin Pierce
56:42

The 14th President is among the most unknown, as he was when he won in a surprising election.  Yet he started with great promise.  Youthful, regal in manner and style, with celebrity friends, many thought his Presidency was a renewal for the country.  Instead he provoked a resistance movement.  His fall in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska act reveals a lot about the Presidency in a time of scattered politics. 

Bruce goes through his four-year Presidency and the reasons why he's one of the few to never obtain a re-nomination from his own party.  His Presidency is one of several factors setting up war.  Though his administration was disastrous, there might even be an issue or two where you like him on.  

Feb 28, 2019
LBJ 's Cell Phone and His Decision to Jump on the Ticket in 1960
27:36

In answering a question about JFK's health and its role in Lyndon Johnson's decision to accept the Vice Presidency, Bruce takes a look at the people and factors surrounding Johnson's decision, Kennedy's motivations, Eisenhower's indirect role, and the confusing hours in a Los Angeles hotel that changed history.

Feb 20, 2019
Nixon in Full
01:29:39

A look at the life and career of Richard Nixon, from childhood to Presidency, originally aired in 2014 as 'Get Your Nixon On' This title feels more descriptive.  I don't know whether time has changed this cast, or if this cast has more meaning now, or less, that is for the listener to judge.  Music by Lee Rosevere.

Feb 20, 2019
Interview with Sidney Blumenthal - Putting Lincoln in a Political Context, Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, The Whigs and More
50:41

We are joined by the author of Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln  Vol II, Sidney Blumenthal.  In this cast, he talks about Lincoln in the 1850's, as he emerges as a small-time lawyer to being 'woke' by the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Bill to make a stirring speech and come to a definite conclusion about the future of the nation.

In the process Sidney provides details on the passage of both the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska act, and the role that Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas plays in it, Zachary Taylor's Presidency, the Whigs and Franklin Pierce.  

Feb 12, 2019
Many Candidates
27:01

With so many candidates already announced for 2020, it's worthwhile looking at other elections with lots of candidates, starting with 1988.  

Feb 02, 2019
Etiquette and Social Media: Where are Our Manners? Social Etiquette from Ben Franklin to Dale Carnegie to Today, w Jessica Weisberg
46:23

Jessica Weisberg has traced Ben Franklin's early advice-writing, read the "Lord Chesterfield" letters that early Americans read to learn how to act, attended Dale Carnegie workshops and spoke with Miss Manners all in a quest to track down why Americans are so obsessed with advice.  We speak with Jessica about her book "Asking For a Friend" and discuss whether we've gotten far away from Dale Carnegie or Chesterfield, the selfless advice of our early American ancestors and gone into another mode.  We also tell some stories.  

Feb 01, 2019
28 Minutes
11:58

Carter Ford '76, and the Presidential debate snafu that lead to an unplanned moment of silence.  

Feb 01, 2019
The Case That Defined Abraham Lincoln
22:57

Lincoln had many successes in the courtroom prior to becoming President.  But it was his failure to win the Todd Estate case, for his own family, that defined his anti-slavery views.  Bruce goes back to his interview with Sidney Blumenthal, author of 'Wrestling with his Angel' with a focus on this particular turning point in Lincoln's life. 

Jan 17, 2019
Skokie, Neo-Nazis and Free Speech
33:25

In the wake of the events of Charlottesville, a look at the Neo Nazi rally in Skokie, IL in 1977 and the resulting Supreme Court Case and the ACLU's role.  In recent days Skokie has been brought up; and a look at the history of events is useful. Starting with of course, there actually was no rally in Skokie after all.  And while there was a Supreme Court decision, it was not a full decision.  We look at other cases, and what this means for speech and politics.   We look at Louis Brandeis's great speech on the First Amendment, Chief Justice Robert's view of it recently, Alito's other take.  Finally Bruce wonders about the consequences of these rights in a social media world.  

Jan 16, 2019
Dueling -The Bad Side and The Secret Good Side to a Tragic American Practice
23:21

The Two Hamiltons, and other Americans lost to the practice of dueling.  We explain what dueling is and what dueling is not and explore the issues around a practice that was common, if somewhat illicit in the time of the founding of America. 

 

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Jan 09, 2019
Elvis Meets Nixon - The Insider Story
27:47

A look at a frenetic day at the Nixon White House.  

Jan 07, 2019
The Shays Rebellion and Its Implications
01:16:26

The history behind a rebellion against a state of the new United States, why it happened, its impact on our Constitution, and what it means today.   From a 2014 cast, but it's been a while. 

Our sponsor is Warby Parker - excellent glasses (wearing them now as I write the shoow notes) check them out at www.warbyparker.com/myhistory

Jan 05, 2019
Investigating the Executive Branch: The Trial of Thomas Jefferson, Governor
32:13

"Public offices are, what they should be, burdens to those appointed to them which it would be wrong to decline, though foreseen to bring with them intense labor and great private loss." So wrote a newly elected governor Jefferson to a friend.  Thomas Jefferson's experience as a wartime governor was, even as judged the most favorable biographers, not the best part of his career.  We take a look at his experience and the Revolutionary War in Virginia, discover a forgotten hero and learn a bit about Executive branch meets Legislative branch in the process.  

Jan 02, 2019
Rules of Political Debate: Godwin's Law is Not a Law
25:15

Godwin's Law is Not a Law.  And yet, it probably should be followed in most cases.  (re-do of past episode that contained an error).  The surprising history of the rule that one should not discuss Nazis in debates, and the person who is not a scientist nor a lawmaker who came up with it.  Also, when you can violate the rule and what the rule says about meme-driven discussions in 2017.

Jan 02, 2019
Economy and Jobs: Debunking "The Good Old Days" Argument with Gregg Easterbrook
31:53

Was the past better?  Were the "Good Old Days" really all they are chalked up to be?   Gregg Easterbrook, author of It's Better Than it Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear, has a bold argument.  Things are better now then they have ever been.  That will surprise a lot of people who did not feel 2017 was a great year.  But on economics, environment, culture and crime, Easterbrooks thesis is that on average, stats have improved and "Good Old Days" Arguments are no more than opportunist political rhetoric. 

A reminder about our sponsor Warby Parker eyeglasses - get your try on pack of 5 frames at www.warbyparker.com/myhistory

Jan 01, 2019
Searching for Eisenhower: Ike on War, Civil Rights, Big Government and Political Moderation (with William Hitchcock)
48:26

We discuss all things Ike with William Hitchcock - author of "The Age of Eisenhower."  We talk about how President Eisenhower was a surprisingly good politician, how he navigated Civil Rights, Social Security and other domestic programs, how he dealt with LBJ.  We discuss the failure that upset him the most, and what he may have gotten wrong. 

We also get to the bottom of that Military Industrial Complex.

Premium Podcast subscribers - Special episode where we go more into Eisenhower and the 1957 Civil Rights Bill- http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpoliticspremium.com  As little as 2 a month.  

Jan 01, 2019
The Ark of Commerce, Part III: Loco
01:41:57

A mysterious crash.  A strange contraption.  A fateful race, an outbreak of violent activity and a crafty watch-seller.  A look at the railroad history of America and the changes the railroad brought.  

Dec 29, 2018
Curtis LeMay, Warrior, Candidate - with Alex Hastie of Ohio v. The World Podcast
01:09:48

Bruce is interviewed on Ohio v. The World Podcast, which is the creation of MHCBUYP fan Alex Hastie.  The subject is Curtis LeMay.  Politically we know him as George Wallace's reluctant running mate in 1968.  But there was much more to him, as Bruce and Alex discuss. His career spanned World War II, Kennedy,  Vietnam, The Cold War and more.   

Dec 28, 2018
LBJ and The Creation of Medicare - 50 Years Ago
35:55

50 years ago, Medicare was created and some of it was recorded.
We'll look at the original conversations that demonstrate LBJ's work on the bill, and compare the enactment of Medicare to the Affordable Care Act. And we'll contrast the two bill's passages and implementation, effect and popularity.

Based on a previous cast called 'Medicare Atmosphere' from 2010... but updated and re-recorded.

Dec 28, 2018
The Ark of Commerce, Part II: Two If By Sea
01:35:59

A unique boat is built to overcome a powerful challenge in interstate water commerce.  a revolution is fed by fish.  A writer turns commerce into words.   A well known Revolutionary figure finds an agreeable industry, while young workers take a stand.   A new high tech monopoly is broken, and a young boy gets his dream. 

Dec 28, 2018
The Ark of Commerce - Part I: Crash Party
01:32:59

In this look at American commercial history we discuss the Black Thursday Stock market crash, the early career of Thomas Edison, how a popular game evolved from a anticorporate activist, and how Wall Street was once in Philadelphia, so to speak.   

Dec 27, 2018
The Craziest Speaker of The House Election, Indian Removal Petitions and Other Thoughts
33:26

A few questions, some from an older cast that now bears repeating in the wake of a new speaker election, and others from the premium channel now elevated.  Was Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal allowed to happen by a quiet public, or was thee resistance?  And what would Revolutionary protests look like.  

Dec 25, 2018
Saturday Night Nixon: The Firing That Sealed Watergate
28:29

The Saturday Night Massacre was the name given to the triple firing of a special prosecutor investigating President Nixon, the AG and the deputy AG on the same night in 1973. After the firing of the FBI Director by President Trump, all eyes are looking back on this historical event. Are they right to do […]

Dec 17, 2018
Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 25th Amendment, But Were Afraid to Ask.
54:57

Chester Arthur's dilemma.  Woodrow Wilson's secret.  Robert Kennedy's concern.  The Framers of the Constitution and the unnerving though of a disabled President.  A look at the history of Presidential Succession, from the Constitutional Convention to the passage of the 25th Amendment nearly two hundred years later.  

How does it work?  Who does it affect?  Why does it exist?

Dec 11, 2018
George H.W. Bush, 03 30 81
28:51

We take a look at one day in the life and career of President George H.W. Bush - not in his presidency but in his vice-presidency.  That day revealed his leadership style and set future precedents, perhaps.  March 30, 1981 the day of the attempted assassination of President Reagan.  We also look at Bush's Presidency and legacy.  

Dec 02, 2018
I Am James Buchanan
01:19:13

He's the President that is on the bottom of most lists.  But why?  And is it fair?  What did he think about his place in history?  We talk about POTUS 15 and look at the events of the run-up to the American Civil War, and we hear from Buchanan, and get his take on his Presidency, through his memoirs.  

Nov 21, 2018
Presidents After Midterms with Matt K. Lewis
34:31

Bruce and Daily Beast/CNN correspondent Matt K. Lewis talk about midterms, and Presidents post midterms.  Bruce tells a story about Lincoln that he told 11 years ago. (more information on that story in the premium podcast). 

Nov 20, 2018
David Priess on the Realities of Impeachment and the History of Presidential Removal
53:28

We are joined today by David Priess, former CIA intelligence officer and author about his new book on the history and the realities of impeachment, and the 25th, what people think it is, and what has really happened in history.  He is the author of How To Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.  

"With the objective eye of a former intelligence officer and an uncanny instinct for deep truths, David Priess paints a genuinely non-partisan portrait of presidential removals. The stories here are eerily relevant to today's headlines, but also disarmingly fun to read."—Michael Hayden, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and author of The Assault on Intelligence

Nov 14, 2018
Introducing: The City
05:53

The City tells true stories of how power works in urban America. Season 1 begins in Chicago, 1990.

 After years of disinvestment, highways are rebuilt, old buildings demolished, and new skyscrapers erected. All that rubble has to go somewhere, and its destination isn’t a landfill—it’s a pair of vacant lots in a predominately black, working-class neighborhood called North Lawndale. The man behind this operation is a white guy sporting a Cosby sweater and underworld connections. What follows is a tour de force through Chicago’s underbelly: Aldermen get indicted. An FBI investigation goes awry. A community’s resilience is tested—all unfolding under the specter of racism in America.

 Look for The City on Apple Podcasts and subscribe to USA TODAY’s new investigative podcast series: https://apple.co/2Ot21Tu

Nov 05, 2018
Posse Comitatus and Billy The Kid
36:14

A law that may have given Billy The Kid a few more months of life, long enough to build a legend is still a part of today's politics.  The rich history of the Posse Comitatus law that separated military from law enforcement and forbids, in some cases, the use of military on American soil.  From the laws enactment by people intending to keep African American citizens from polls, to its current meaning in a time of terrorism and drug trafficking, we look at the evolution of this law.  Music by Lee Rosevere, Squire Tuck and Lucas Gonze at freemusicarchive

 

Nov 04, 2018
Valley Forge Myth and Reality - Interview with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, Authors of Valley Forge
56:25

Separating truth from lore about what is perhaps the most important moment of American Independence, along with authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.  A very different Valley Forge emerges than the one in the textbooks.  An integrated army of lower middle class soldiers, along with immigrants and Indians suffering tragic conditions, avoidable deaths and disease.   Only Washington's leadership and the arrival of a foreign drillmaster saves the United States.   As Clavin and Drury indicate while food was scarce, politics, not snow, bore the blame.   Also how Valley Forge leads to an American near-victory.  And how veterans were treated then and now and the politics of war.   Music by Lee Rosevere and Chris Novembrino.

Oct 21, 2018
Thomas Paine, Common Sense and The American Mind
36:20

A look at one of America's earliest blockbusters, the little book that changed American minds: Common Sense, its author Thomas Paine, the impact it had at the time and what it might mean today. We also examine the creative differences Paine had with his printers, and how much it might have cost to advertise for a book in that time.

Oct 16, 2018
About That Court-Packing Idea. SCOTUS Discussion Part II w/ Chris Novembrino
44:06

With some fringe talk about adding members to the court, a look FDR's court-packing scheme of 1937, why it failed and why it is a cautionary tale of a defeat of a powerful political figure.  However, the story also has unique qualities and may not be the exact precedent some people use it for.  What would be the consequences of an expansion of the Court's members, and what will happen with the Court post-Kavanaugh? Chris Novembrino of Don't Worry About the Government Podcast joins to discuss in Part II of the discussion about the Supreme Court.  

Oct 16, 2018
SCOTUS Discussion Kavanaugh, Abe Fortas, Nixon and LBJ - w Chris Novembrino Part I
45:45

The Kavanaugh nomination and a bit of Supreme Court nomination history.  A discussion and at times debate with Chris Novembrino of Don't Worry About the Government podcast.  This one does get a bit opinionated. 

 

Oct 11, 2018
Introducing: Legal Wars
03:25
The courtroom can be a battlefield over money, people’s rights, and even their lives. For some cases, the consequences can affect us long after the verdict is read.
 
Based on extensive interviews and court transcripts, Wondery’s new podcast LEGAL WARS puts you inside the jury box of some of the most famous court cases in American history. Subscribe to Legal Wars today at wondery.fm/beat
Oct 09, 2018
Healthcare: Doctor Nixon, President Nixon on Healthcare
15:08

The views of the 37th President on healthcare, his reaction to Clinton's healthcare plan and his own 1974 healthcare plan.  Also: Nixon on Ike and Reagan. 

Sep 18, 2018
Bruce Talks About Everything, Dem Debates Trump 2020 and Clinton 1996, Supreme Court
01:06:20

Trump Reelection, Democratic Debates and Recent Court decisions discussed on the episode.  It's a bit more lose than the norm, bear with Bruce as he tackles a lot in a short time and provides some sketches of things to come.  

Sep 17, 2018
Republic vs. Democracy: Radical Revolution - The Pennsylvania Radicals and the State Constitution of 1776
56:27

The Pennsylvania State Constitution of 1776, born in the fever of the signing of the Declaration and the radicalization of the city of Philadelphia expanded the rights of many but turned off a great many of those who had fought for independence.

In this episode we look at the history of the singing of the Declaration and Pennsylvania's state Constitution, we examine its contents, and we look at the men - radicals of their time that helped organize the streets of Philadelphia to the independence cause, and how some of their dreams came crashing down.

We also look at the debate of republic vs. democracy in the United States.

Sep 08, 2018
Presidential Scandals: Watergate, Whiskey Ring and Others
56:09

All about Presidential Scandals.  From how Watergate may have seemed like in 1972 on Election night, to Grant and Carter's troublesome friends, to the Iran Contra story, we look at White House mess-ups and election impact.    Though recorded in 2012, and originally titled 'You're TV Lied to You' I believe it's just as relevant today.  

Sep 03, 2018
Midterms: They Don't Always Work Out Badly for Presidents (But Mostly They Do)
01:19:43

In the past 100 years, over 80% of the first term midterms went badly for Presidents, and their party lost seats.   But in a few cases they did not.  And a few times when they did, the result was very little real change or even a kind of win.  A look at first term midterms during the Presidencies of Chester Arthur, Harding, FDR, GW Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. 

A combo of new and previously recorded MHCBUYP episodes reveals that while many first term midterms have devastated the President's plans, Presidents don't always do badly, there are 'stave' elections where Presidents have lost so little it's almost a win.   And sometimes, a defeat has positive effects.   

Music by Josh Woodward and Lee Rosevere in this episode. Find them on the Free Music Archive website.

Aug 06, 2018
Statue Removal: National Valhalla: Statues, Confederates, Slaveowners, Washington, Trump, Memory and Time
58:19

From the early attempts to depict Washington, to the first Congressional attempts to block Confederate statues, to today's debate.  In this episode Bruce examines the history behind statues in America, and Bruce looks at every debating point and angle he can think of regarding Confederate statues, the dates of their construction and their removal.  Bruce relates a bust removal debate involving the Declaration Signer Richard Stockton.  

Please remember our sponsor Mack Weldon and their great clothes - www.mackweldon.com   Use promo code "history" for 20% off.  

Aug 03, 2018
Protests: The Whole World is Watching - Chicago 1968
25:53

In the wake of Occupy Movements, we took a look at what happened at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968.  

Aug 01, 2018
Presidential Scandal: Watergate, Whitewater, and The Rich Texture of Presidential Scandal w/ Leon Neyfakh of The 'Slow Burn' Podcast
40:08

With Leon Neyfakh of The 'Slow Burn' Podcast, now in its Season 2,  (make sure to subscribe) we take a look at Presidential scandals and investigations including Watergate, Whitewater, the Travel Office snafu during the Clinton administration and others.  We learn about a Congressman who tried to investigate Watergate too early, and we discuss the Clinton Impeachment 20 years later.  Are there connections between the Nixon and Clinton misdeeds, and similarities to today's politics.  Do supporters care about investigations?  How would Clinton fare with the Me Too Movement today?  Give a listen.  Music by Lee Rosevere in this cast.  

Aug 01, 2018
War: 1983 and How Close We Came to Nuclear War w/ Marc Ambinder
01:05:05

Examining the moment in 1983 when nuclear war was possible with new research and stories from the Soviet side.  How close did we come to war?  And could that war have been accidental?  w/ White House Correspondent for National Journal and Political Editor of The Atlantic Marc Ambinder, author of "The Brink - President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983."  We double down on some of the points made in the Reagan podcast with Marc's exhaustive research.  We also get into the recent Trump-Putin summit. 

Jul 29, 2018
Tariffs: Smoot - The Man Behind the Tariff
50:42

You may know his tariff, but not him.  A look at the man behind the Smoot-Hawley Tariff.  Reed Smoot, Senator from Utah.  His history, his politics, his views on tariffs.  His battles for a mix of conservative issues and progressive stands.  And his battle to keep his own seat from religious intolerance.  

Plus a discussion on tariffs in history and the variety of different historical figures who have positive and negative views of tariffs.  

Jul 28, 2018
RFK Anniversary: Chris Matthews on Bobby Kennedy and the Missing Element in Today's Politics
30:23

Chris Matthews of Hardball joins the program!! He has just finished his book Bobby Kennedy - A Raging Spirit.  Chris talks about RFK and how his history and childhood, and his relationship with Joe Kennedy Senior that informed his own politics. Those politics, according to Matthews, were just starting to develop at the end of his life, as he sought to defend society's less fortunate, while keeping working people of all races in mind.  In the interview, we discuss:

  • RFK - Brash Political Operator or Inspiring Leader?
  • Kennedy on Civil Rights
  • Kennedy and Joe McCarthy - Did he do enough?
  • Reagan and RFK
  • Would Bobby Kennedy have won in 1968?
Jul 28, 2018
Economy and Jobs: Dark Side of Booms Part 2: Wild Times in the North Dakota Bakken Fields w/ Maya Rao
48:47

All about the Bakken oil region of North Dakota and the recent boom.  Fast money and fast growth in a state that had peaked in the 1930's High volume trucking on unsuited roads, High wages matched by high rents and local price inflation, hungry outsiders and upset locals, and ubiquitous "Man camps" housing workers from all over the world.  We speak with Maya Rao, Washington D.C. correspondent for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and author of "Great American Outpost: Dreamers, Mavericks, and the Making of an Oil Frontier"

Music by Lee Rosevere, Squire Tuck and Josh Armistead (Redfen) is featured in this episode - find them on the free music archive.  

Jul 22, 2018
Russia: Everything You Know About The Russian Revolution is Wrong - Russian Journalist Mikhail Zygar on 1917, History, Putin, Democracy and More
42:09

Crushing myths about the 1917 Russian Revolution that both Russians and Americans still get from Soviet textbooks.  Understanding that is the key to understanding today's Russia as well.  A very interesting conversation with Mikhail Zygar, Editor in Chief of the TV Dozhd and the Author of All the Kremlin's Men.  He joins us to speak about his book The Empire Must Die - Russia's Revolutionary Collapse.  We talk Russia 1917 and the revolution before the Bolsheviks.  We also talk Russia 2017 and Putin, America, democracy, struggle and more.  

Jul 18, 2018
Gerrymandering: Gerry and His "Mander" (from 2013, with an Update on Gerrymandering Supreme Court case)
57:21

Elbridge Gerry lent his name to a tricky political maneuver.  Not that he wanted to, or perhaps, deserved it.  With gerrymandering of congressional districts and state legislative districts on the agenda of the Supreme Court, Bruce discusses the court case Gill v. Whitford and then revisits his cast from 2013 about Elbridge Gerry 

Jul 18, 2018
Good Economic Times: The Dark Side of Booms: The 1920s
43:51

Are economic good times always good?  A look at the 1920's and the other side of booming economic times.  This episode was recorded in 2014. 

Jul 17, 2018
Soccer and Repression: 1978 and the World Cup in Argentina
45:40

The story of the 1978 World Cup, a cautionary tale about democracy.  The world spotlight on the junta that controlled Argentina that year helped focus some attention on the plight of the victims of a vicious dictatorship, but locally, may have enhanced support for the regime.  We talk about soccer and politics, we talk about democracy and the dangers of losing it, we read a bit of Eduardo Galeano's Excellent "Soccer in Sun and Shadow."  

Music from Lee Rosevere 

Jul 08, 2018
Democracy: The Life, and Hopefully Not Death, of Democracy - A Conversation w/ Dr. Paul Cartledge
01:07:01

We speak often of Democracy, but do we really know what it is?  We point to Athens as an example.  But what was Greek Democracy really like?  A conversation with Dr. Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, author of "Democracy: A Life."  

We look at democracy as it existed in Athens, what the American Framers thought of it, and what the future of democracy might be.  Also we provide some information for that 'Democracy vs. Republic' debate.   (A lot of topics here and while we chose not to break it up in 2 parts, you might want to listen to it in 2 parts.)   

Music from Lee Rosevere on this episode.

Jun 25, 2018
Trump and History: Take Trump. Add Historical Context. Rinse and Repeat.
37:49

What can history add to understanding the unconventional Presidency of Donald Trump?  What about his tweeting, that portrait of Andrew Jackson in the White House and the comparisons?  What are his reelection chances as of now, and how does the midterm look?  Bruce is joined by Ian Skotte, who will be helping with producing the My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast to discuss POTUS 45 so far.  Music by Lee Rosevere on this episode.

Jun 17, 2018
Tariffs: Taft Walks Away - The Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909
29:38

Taft fails in trying to lower tariffs, setting up his successor to do it.  In frustration, he walks away from the White House.  Meanwhile, his opponent, William Jennings Bryan, destroys the tariff in several populist arguments.  A look at Payne-Aldrich, the 1909 tariff bill that was as least as important as Smoot Hawley.  

Jun 10, 2018
Generations and Politics: I Was Born in 1869: A Look at a Generation
39:24

A generation defined by a technology that shook off the yoke of their parent's Civil War and took on the world, and took over the country by the turn of the century. This cast, which was previously recorded.  It is as he reveals, Bruce's own favorite cast that he recorded in the show's 12-year history.    Music from Lee Rosevere and KieLoKaz

Jun 06, 2018
Infrastructure: The Bad Side and Good Side of Infrastructure - Robert Moses and Other Tales with Greg Young of the Bowery Boys NYC Podcast
46:59

Is infrastructure always good?  We talk with Greg Young of the Very Popular "Bowery Boys NYC" podcast, about infrastructure.  In particular the story of Robert Moses and his career reforming New York's infrastructure.  Until he met his match.  We also talk about Trump's career in NYC, and whether Mark Zuckerberg is the new Vanderbilt.  

Music from Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band in this episode.  

May 31, 2018
US Intelligence Services: The Secret Intelligence of All The President's Men: Interview with David Priess on CIA Briefings, History, Trump, Mueller and More
49:05

We speak once again to David Priess, former CIA Briefer and the author of The President's Book of Secrets.  While last time we spoke mostly about Presidents and intelligence, this time we get into the other people who use intelligence and how they support the President.  Priess talks about Dan Quayle, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and other VPs as well as other officials.  In the course of the discussion, we talk about what we can know about Trump's briefings, what it's like to be a briefer, and what it's like to work with Robert Mueller.  

May 14, 2018
Hungover at the Gettysburg Address, Fun with County Election Results, a 13th Reagan We Didn't Discuss? And More..
53:00

Counties and the role they play in the election.  How they are over hyped in some memes but yet can provide some purpose as well.   Also in this hodge-podcast we look at John Hay, Lincoln's Secretary and later McKinley's Secretary of State.  What if healthcare was in the Constitution?  And we open the mailbag for some listener comments and questions.

May 13, 2018
Rigged Elections: That Time the DNC Rigged a Nomination
41:10

A look at 1944 and how intrigue, manipulation, misrepresentation, a few martinis, a song, an axe, and a finger in the page of a book changed the history of the Presidency.

Apr 26, 2018
America and Rome: w/ Mike Duncan
45:59

Populism, Corruption, Citizenship and Immigration.  Rome struggled with these issues in its Republic phase.  Bruce is joined by Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome Podcast, to talk about the pre-fall of the Roman Republic, period of 146 to 78 BC and the cast of characters that struggled for power at the time.  Mike has come out with a recent book called "The Storm Before the Storm," which delves into this topic.  

 

Apr 01, 2018
Movies and Politics: Writing History With Lightning: The Controversial Mix of Movies and Politics and History
46:08

from D.W. Griffith to today, we look at the controversial use of movies and film in politics.  And how using video instead of argument may be popular, but it has its flaws.  We also look at some recent projects, Lincoln, Boardwalk Empire, Game Change to see how faithfully the history is treated.  

Apr 01, 2018
Political Alignments: Archie and Meathead America - w/ Chris Novembrino
01:10:57

 We are joined by Chris Novembrino of The All in the Family Podcast and also Don't Worry About the Government Podcast.  We discuss All in the Family and Roseanne Barr, the political situation in 2018, the Mueller investigation, Congress, Tariffs, Debt, and Just about everything. 

Mar 21, 2018
Presidential Power: Democracy's Diet? The Two-Term Presidential Limit of the 22nd Amendment
40:59

With the leader of China erasing that country's 2 term limit, we are taking a look back at the 2 term presidential limit in the United States, how recent it is and whether it's a good thing.  This episode is from 2012.  

BTW - As you listen this will make more sense - Hilmar Moore died in 2012 and thus is no longer mayor of Richmond Texas, his wife is currently mayor.  Probably makes the case in a way.  

Feb 27, 2018
U.S.-Mexico Relations w/ Bob Crawford and Ben Sawyer of "The Road to Now " Podcast Live in Mexico
01:00:25

The Mexican War, current U.S. politics, Mexican history are all topics Bruce joins Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers and Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University, hosts of the Road to Now Podcast in Mexico where they discuss Mexico relations in front of a live audience.  But first a little commentary about Benito Juarez.  Thanks to the Road to Now for hosting us at the Avett Brothers at the Beach Festival 

Working on the last two Reagans - (yes very close).  

Photo by Josh Timmermans

 

Feb 24, 2018
Where's Reagan? Reagan in Our Politics Today - The Final of the Dozen Ronald Reagans Series - Episode Twelve
01:09:53

Where does Reagan fit into politics today?  Would he fit in the modern GOP?  Or somewhere else.  Can you compare and contrast Reagan and Trump in any meaningful way?  How was his Presidency?  How do his accomplishment stack up and what can future politicians learn from his example?  We review the dozen episodes of our series on President Reagan and attempt to answer a few questions.

Jan 22, 2018
Did Reagan Win the Cold War? A Dozen Ronald Reagans - Episode Eleven
01:47:22

Did Gorbachev?  Did anyone?  Starting with the Reykjavik Summit of 1986 and a fly on the wall view of the events there, we look at the pro-Reagan and anti-Reagan arguments regarding his role in the ending of the Cold War, and try to capture everything.  This is part eleven of A Dozen Ronald Reagans.  

Remember to support the podcast by subscribing to the premium podcast, as little as $2 a month:

http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpoliticspremium.com

Jan 21, 2018
Year of the Missile: Reagan's First Term Cold War Steps - A Dozen Ronald Reagans, Part 10
01:00:04

It's 1983 and the world is scared.  In answering the question of Reagan's credit for "winning the Cold War." it's necessary to break up the first-term pre-Gorbachev moves from the second-term moves.  We do that in this episode. 

 

Remember to take advantage of the Special Offer from our Sponsor Bombfell internet Styling Service for Men

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Jan 20, 2018
Shockwave 1981 - A Dozen Ronald Reagans Part Nine
41:20

An Election Changes Everything...A Secretary of State Loses Favor with the White House...A President Defies Norms...Secretaries Make Shocking Statements...Springsteen is Angry  -A tremendous upheaval in politics occurred with a new President influenced by new media and speaking new political language, with a willingness to bend the rules.  The upending culminates in a radical foreign policy no one expected and few, at that time, understood, so different it was literally thought to be from outer space.  

Jan 11, 2018
White House on Fire: Iran Contra - A Dozen Ronald Reagans Part 8 -REPLAY
44:40

In the eight part of our series on the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, we look at the scandal that engulfed his administration, and management style mistakes that may have led to it.  In the course of doing this we peel back a few layers, including the Walsh investigation and the critical Senate investigation.

 

 
 
 
 
Jan 09, 2018
Reformation: Tax Reform , Immigration, S&Ls - A Dozen Ronald Reagans - Part Seven
46:07

Reagan is not often seen as a reformer but in many cases, there were massive shifts on domestic policy in the 1980s and not all of them were to the standard political right. Strange bedfellows Bill Bradley and Ronald Reagan work together to achieve something that hasn't been done since. Also an incredible failure that could paint the economic picture of the Reagan years.

Jan 06, 2018
Hands Across America:: A Dozen Ronald Reagans Part Six - REPLAY
42:40

Homelessness, education, healthcare and other domestic issues under constant evaluation during the time of the Reagan Presidency. We look at the personal Ronald Reagan and the contention of critics that his policies didn't match the person. We look at first term and second term policy differences on homelessness, and the contention by supporters that homelessness was focused on by media in the 80's but not during other Presidencies. Finally, we look at Reagan's response to AIDS.

Jan 04, 2018
1976 Convention: A Dozen Ronald Reagans - Part Five
38:48

Reagan Battles Ford for the GOP Nomination

Jan 02, 2018
That "Other Part" of The Declaration of Independence: The Grievances and What They Say About Executive Power, Immigration, and Other Issues
30:00

We know about the first half of the Declaration of Independence and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the Declaration also contains a listing of facts submitted to a "candid world" detailing what was wrong in the American colonies and the need for Revolution. The Grievances are the second half of the Declaration of Independence We discuss with Tim Patrick, listener and author of "Self-Evident: Discovering the Ideas and Events That Made the Declaration of Independence Possible" 

Jan 01, 2018
Witches' Brew: Central America, Lebanon, Poland - A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part Four
01:25:59

James Baker called Reagan's foreign policy "a witches' brew." In one country, a longshot try for peace. In others, alliances with warmakers. In one country, an invasion, others aversion to invade. In one country, an odd combo of labor unions, the Catholic church and the CIA led to a successful result, in others people suffered. And finally the GOP's staunchest anti-communists completes the approval of trade with Red China. Reagan's policy towards seven nations - El Salvador, Lebanon, Poland, Nicaragua, China, Grenada and Guatemala examined in this episode.

Dec 31, 2017
Rubik's Cube: Two Reagan Mysteries Solved - A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part Three -
01:04:01

We seek to solve two puzzles: How did Reagan the Truman booster become Reagan the Goldwater acolyte? And when he entered politics, became GOP nominee and President, what were the economic results of his Presidency?

Plus the KAL007 Airliner Incident, and President Reagan's Reaction to it.  And Reagan and the Ranch.  

Over 30 Bonus Episodes

for those who are subscribed to the My History Can Beat Up Your Politics Premium EXTRA Podcast, you'll get more content and help the support the podcast as well. Go to www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpoliticspremium.com to sign up!

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Dec 29, 2017
A Taxing Second Year - A Dozen Ronald Reagans Part Two
49:57

1982 doesn't go as well for Ronald Reagan as 1981 did.  Recession hits, a recession that challenges cuts of the previous year.  Compromises, new taxes, the reality of deficits hit hard.  David Stockman, the chief budget czar of Reaganomics is blocked by others and gets frustrated.  Reagan makes a defining speech.  Part 2 of 12 of our series. 

For more My History Can Beat Up Your Politics sign up for premium at www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpoliticspremium.com

Dec 26, 2017
Rawhide is OK - First of Our Series on a 'Dozen Ronald Reagans' -REPLAY
57:22

Replay from 2016 as we prepare the last three eps in January. 

First in our series on Ronald Reagan that will have twelve episodes. The Presidency we discuss almost didn't happen. A look at the attempt on Reagan's life, his first year and why the shooting was not an unimportant incident of his Presidency but directly connected to his performance in the first year. We also go over the Dozen Ronald Reagans Concept - that there are twelve different aspects to him to examine both in reality and in the perception of Reagan in political debates.

Dec 23, 2017
Charles I, Monarchy and Mobs, 1640's Fake News and War on Christmas w/ Leanda de Lisle, Author of The White King
44:33

Charles I of England was executed after losing the English Civil War to Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentary Forces. We take a look at his struggle with author Leanda de Lisle.  In her book, The White King, she portrays King Charles I as a defender of the law and notes the mob-like and fanatical actions of the King's opponents.  

We also compare events of the 1640's, including Fake News and Wars on Christmas, to the politics today.  

(Music by Lee Rosevere was used in this cast. )

Dec 17, 2017
Star-Spangled Banner History and Special Fundraiser Episode
10:56

A bit of history about America's national anthem, and a special offer for the Premium Extra podcast - extra archive episodes for membership levels.  

Dec 06, 2017
Lincoln Faces a Blue Tsunami: The 1862 Midterm
35:06

A look at Lincoln's first midterm, and the troubles he faced in trying to hold on to Congress in the midst of a war and an energized base in the opponent's party.  

Nov 21, 2017
William McKinley Got Us Here: Interview with Robert W. Merry about POTUS 25, American Expansion, Income Taxes, Presidents and Press and More
43:02

He's more than the President that was shot in office, more than just the guy before Teddy Roosevelt.  And he wasn't handled by anyone.  William McKinley set in motion the America that we have now.  His views on expansion, free trade, taxes, and money set up modern America.  We speak with Robert W. Merry, the author of President McKinley - The Architect of the American Century about these topics.  Merry previously authored a significant book that put James K. Polk back on the historical radar, and his book has great insights about Potus 25.  

Nov 15, 2017
Bruce Takes Twenty Questions on History and Politics
01:02:47

Early colonial income tax, Pardons, Third parties.    Herbert Hoover.  The Grand Old Democratic Party?  Mexico's contribution to WW2.  The ERA, DNC primary rigging.  A little alt his where Ford becomes VP under Reagan...Bruce takes questions and offers his attempted answers.

Remember the premium cast - http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpoliticspremium.com

Nov 09, 2017
President by Accident: Truman, Atomic Warfare, Russians and Trump w/ A.J. Baime
47:19

In a day everything changed and a new President inhabited the chair in the White House.  The country and the world were anxious.  Russia and Asia Pacific were frightening foreign policy issues.  We are speaking of 1945, but as A.J. Baime, author of The Accidental President suggests, there are some similarities to today.  A.J. Joins us on the program.  

A note that A.J.'s book comes out on the 24th, but you can pre-order.  

Also, a reminder about he Premium Podcast. 

Oct 17, 2017
Patrick Henry, Underrated Founder - Interview with Jon Kukla
45:38

He was essential to the colonial resistance to the Stamp Act.  He was the bulwark of the American Revolution in Virginia.  He raised troops and supplies and organized the America's largest state.  He may have saved Washington's job, championed a Bill of Rights, and might have been President himself.  Yet for many Americans, Patrick Henry is known for making one speech and uttering the words 'Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.' In this interview with Jon Kukla, author of Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty, we seek a fuller picture of this important man and discuss the Revolution, the Constitution and Slavery.  

Sep 05, 2017
The Split on The Left of Politics and Why it Matters, w/ Chris Novembrino
01:09:45

While so much attention is focused on splits in the GOP, there is a gaping split on the left that while, perhaps not large, is important to understanding both what happened in 2016 and the politics of 2017 and moving forward.  Special guest Chris Novembrino, of the 'Don't Worry About the Government' Podcast, has an interesting analysis of the splits between Progressives and Technocrats that will determine what happens in the future.  

Aug 22, 2017
Elvis Presley and America
54:05

On the 40th Anniversary of the rock star's death, We talk to Bob Crawford and Dr. Ben Sawyer of The Road to Now Podcast about the day Elvis died in '77,  The Elvis phenom, his manners, American life, rock and roll, drugs, the 'Shut Up and Sing' debate and many other things.  Journey front man Steve Perry does not appear on the show, however we do make a special plea to him regarding Bob's Elvis T-Shirt.    Music  (theme www.dontworry.tv and www.bensound.com -background)

Aug 15, 2017
Avoiding War Between the U.S. and China: Interview with Dr. Graham Allison of Harvard Kennedy School
40:07

We discuss the "Thucydides's Trap" n this cast with Dr. Graham Allison, who has advised Defense Secretaries from the Reagan to the Obama Administrations.  He is the author of Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides's Trap.  Dating back to Athens and Sparta, the historical idea is that a rising power will conflict with an establishment power and generally this will lead to war.  

That this could happen with China sounds incredible, but there are scenario's where involuntary actions or external events could lead to it.  And it could be avoided if the right steps are taken.  

Aug 09, 2017
Written Out of History? Robert Yates, Luther Martin, Mercy Otis Warren
44:04

James Otis, Robert Yates and Mercy Otis Warren are not names that roll off the tongue, but they did make important contributions to Constitutional debate. Senator Michael Lee's recent book Written Out of History details Founders he says have been 'written out of history.'  Bruce looks at some of these men and women, and while finding them interesting figures that should be known, finds it difficult to say they are principals in league with Washington or Jefferson, and several factors explain their lack of prominence in at least short textbook histories.  However, those who have a greater than average level of historical knowledge should know them and the stances they took, and how they fit into political arguments today. 

Aug 01, 2017
Charleston 1860 and Secession: Interview with Paul Starobin
45:15

Polarized politics, fear, a media with intent to inflame and make its owners famous, no budging on either side, confidence and even mania - that's the combo that author Paul Starobin of the Atlantic and the New Republic describes as the factors that lead to South Carolina's secession in 1860. We talk to him about his book "Madness Rules the Hour:" Charleston 1860 and the mania for war.  

Jul 22, 2017
John Jay's Horse , George Washington's Mill and the Emoluments Clause
44:54

A trip to Mount Vernon through the eyes of visitors, and an examination of some old documents, provides rich insight into today's debate over the The Foreign Emoluments Clause.  This obscure item has received as much attention as ever with the Presidency of Donald Trump.  A look at the history of the Clause, which predates the Constitution.  We also look at George Washington's business empire and how it might compare and contrast to a current business.  

Bruce also notes how Washington's purchasing of public land in the Federal City (now D.C.) in an auction during his Presidency has not been contextualized enough by those using the actions in the current debate, and a letter from 1796 reveals a pretty big miss by those citing the purchases - Washington's never-completed desire to create a national university. 

Jul 08, 2017
Now on the Premium Podcast: Ford's Short and Difficult Tenure as VP, Plus Carlson Interview with DWATG Podcast
21:59

Ford became the first Vice President to be appointed as a result of the 25th amendment, and his eight month long tenure as VP occurred during the Watergate scandal.  A preview of the episode on the Premium cast, available at www.myistorycanbeatupyourpoliticspremium.com

 

Plus an interview with Chris Novembrino of the Don't Worry About the Government Podcast.  he is at www.dontworry.tv

 

 

Jul 05, 2017
Interview with Kevin Lacz, Decorated Navy SEAL and Star of "American Sniper"
43:18

In this episode, I interview decorated Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" Star Kevin Lacz. He is he author of THE LAST PUNISHER, A Seal Team Three Sniper's True Account of the Battle of Ramadi.  He served with Chris Kyle, the subject of the movie American Sniper and played himself in the film.  

We about veterans issues, the Iraq War, what it's like to go from training to combat and then back to the homefront.   We also discuss the making of the American Sniper movie, PTSD stats, the accomplishments of veterans, and more.  

 

Jun 23, 2017
Listener Questions June 2017 - The Unknown Noble, British History, Veeps, States from States and Textualism
33:15

A French nobleman whose face adorns Congress never knew America.  But it's OK, most Americans don't know him.  We talk about Simon de Montfort.  We also talk about making new states, and textualism and Joe Biden.  Bruce settles a score and takes a well-deserved victory lap over a statement he made in 2008.  Listener questions, and hopefully answers.  

Don't forget to fill out the listener survey at www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com

 

Jun 21, 2017
Lincoln Over Easy: The Creation of a President's Image
31:33

How does history create a Presidential image?  We try to answer this with a look at how Lincoln became an image.  Not only were historians involved but the family, a sculptor, some oddballs and some really good Lincoln friends.  

In the course of answering, we take a look at Lincoln today and how he influences discussions of history.  Is there too much Lincoln talk?  What other aspects of the Civil War should we also look at.  

Shouldn't there be an Oliver Morton movie?

Based on a 2012 episode.

May 20, 2017
Explaining Brexit and The U.K Election to Americans – Conversation with Stephen Byrne of WhatAmPolitics Podcast
45:08

In this episode, we go ‘across the pond’ and think about politics, with our special guest Stephen Byrne from WhatAmPolitics Podcast, a listener to the program and someone that Bruce has spoken to whenever UK events happen. We discuss: Why is Britain voting for the 3rd or 4th time in 3 years? What does this […]

May 16, 2017
JFK at 100 – Searching for The True Kennedy (Interview with Thomas Oliphant)
56:00

Will the real JFK please stand up.   What image should we have today of the 35th President.  Our interview with author and Boston Globe reporter Thomas Oliphant, about his book Road to Camelot Inside JFKs Five Year Campaign.  We talk about how we should view the President who will turn 100 this month. We […]

May 09, 2017
Shockwave – A President Upends Politics in 1981 - Part Nine, A Dozen Ronald Reagans
41:20

A tremendous upheaval in politics occurred with a new President influenced by new media and speaking new political language, with a willingness to bend the rules.  The upending culminates in a radical foreign policy no one expected and few, at that time, understood, so different it was literally thought to be from outer space. We discuss: […]

May 02, 2017
Bringing Texty Back? Gorsuch, Scalia, Hugo Black and the Words of Law
01:03:14

The textualism of conservative Justice Scalia and liberal Justice Hugo Black is contrasted and compared as we anticipate the arrival of Neil Gorsuch to the Court.  Gorsuch is a committed textualist.  What does that mean?  We look at that, we look at all of the different ways judges think, and the (often straw-manned) concept of a […]

Apr 13, 2017
The President’s Book of Secrets: Interview with David Priess
47:32

Presidents and Intelligence, from Kennedy to Trump.  With a particular focus on the PDB or the Presidents Daily Briefing with Dr. David Priess, the Author of The President’s Book of Secrets. We discuss: Tension Presidents and The CIA, In History and Today How Kennedy’s Pace Dictated How Agencies Work What the President’s Daily Brief Does and […]

Apr 02, 2017
All Politics is Social - and Other Observations About The New Politics of 2017
41:13

It’s a crazy time, but Bruce’s Fourteen Points about Politics in 2017 seeks to provide some clarity on what’s going on and where both parties stand.  The points include going Back to the Past, Clarity on Reelections and Midterms, About Town Halls, The 8 Million Ignored People and Getting a Media Game. We discuss: Presidents are […]

Mar 27, 2017
Labor Unions in Five Angles
37:13

A look at labor unions from their historical beginnings and their height in the 30s to 60s to today.  

Mar 16, 2017
The Budget: Path of Extravagance?
44:18

When congressmen complained about the size of the budget reaching a billion dollars for the first time, a Speaker of the House snarled - It's a billion dollar country.  Another Speaker saw the budget as a Path of Extravagance.   We look at the U.S. Budget, and it's upward movement.  

Mar 14, 2017
The Dark Side of Rights
36:18

It's always assumed that rights are a good, but as Bruce discusses in this cast, a replay of one of the most popular My History Can Beat Up Your Politics casts, this is not always the even trade off it appears.  Rights complicate democracy and the political process, though it may be for a very good reason.  So long as we are not blind to how they are working, they may have great merit.  But a recent court case brings up the challenges with rights.  

Mar 12, 2017
Four Stories of #Resistance
36:48
Looking at the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Summer, Mothers of the Disappeared and the American Revolution, we look at change, from despair to anger to moderation.  These stories are used to answer the question – What does political change take?  What numbers does it take?  How do you know when it’s happening?  We looked at […]
Mar 11, 2017
That Time When a Presidential Candidate Actually Was Bugged
19:39
…and probably for a good reason. 1968 and an announcement of a bombing halt over Vietnam by LBJ in the last week of the election has all sides moving in many directions. Evidence points to Nixon campaign involvement in scuttling talks through a third party connected to South Vietnamese elites, that the FBI became aware of […]
Mar 04, 2017
Alcatraz: The American Indian Movement
48:06

The 1969 occupation of the former federal prison by Native American activists was the beginning of a movement and a shift in perception that lives on today. http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com/alcatraz.mp3 We discuss: Why Alcatraz? The 1973 Standoff at Wounded Knee,  South Dakota Vine Deloria and “Custer Died for Your Sins” NoDAPL as Part of an Arc of […]

Feb 21, 2017
Interview w/ John Avlon, Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast, Author of Washington’s Farewell
35:22
George Washington is a distant figure.  Sometimes, because of the distance in time, he appears too ancient to influence America’s debates today.  But he was a real person, and he was involved in politics and dealt with partisanship.  He also left behind instructions for future generations. Daily Beast.com Editor-in-Chief, CNN Political Analyst John Avlon joins […]
Feb 13, 2017
The First Hundred Days from Wilson to Trump
44:25
Not everyone can be an FDR, but everyone tries. A look at the American tradition of 100 days – the period in which the President, supposedly, must get everything done.  A White House mastering it, and another White House, besieged by the press, not mastering it.  A professor turned politician driving Congress in a forgotten fight. […]
Feb 05, 2017
How Mandates Were Invented
46:32
The concept of a President earning a right to govern and direct the agenda on behalf of the People is, in historical terms, a new concept.   No such concept is present in Constitution, nor does it appear, was imagined by Constitutional supporters or opponents.  Instead it is the result of Andrew Jackson’s Presidency.  A President that has […]
Jan 30, 2017
Now on the Premium Cast: Thomas Eagleton and George McGovern 1972 More to the Story
12:56

Thomas Eagleton was selected as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democrats and candidate George McGovern. It seemed like the right choice. Then everything went wrong. Yet there is more to the story than most know, and a recent book has revealed new details. What was the Nixon White House role? And what’s this about […]

Jan 28, 2017
The Census - The Original Big Data
13:19

Despite a tendency towards state action and small actions at the general level, even the early American government knew that data - seeking would have a role.  and they put a man in charge of it up to the task - Thomas Jefferson.  From the 1790's to the 1880's to today, a look at Big Data and the government.  Based on an episode from 2013.  

Jan 26, 2017
The Power to Pardon
24:47
One of the President’s greatest and least checked powers is designed to overcome unfortunate guilt, legal error, or to take some action for national good.  A look at what Alexander Hamilton called “the benign prerogative,” and its history. http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com/pardon2.mp3 Recorded at the time of President Bush’s last days, it makes sense again.
Jan 16, 2017
The (Very Few) Rejected Cabinet Choices
20:27
From Roger Taney to Charles Warren (pictured) to John Tower, the few and the not so proud perhaps.  It is rare for the choice of a President not to get their choice.  But there have been a few rejections.  And why?  Were they rejected for great reasons?  Not often.  Politics sometimes very insider and even petty lead […]
Jan 11, 2017
Fib That American President Creates Jobs
50:27

Based on a new book by Bruce, a look at the myth that the President creates jobs, from Monroe to Kennedy to Trump

Dec 01, 2016
The 2016 Election, Taken with a Swig of History
46:14

A look at the election of 1916, also a surprise to supposed-President Hughes.  And about 2016, how close all of us were and how far away, and what happens now.  

Nov 10, 2016
Bruce Carlson Interviewed on the Road to Now
41:23

An interview with Ben and Bob (who turned out to be a fellow college grad of mine) of the excellent Road to Now podcast we discuss all sorts of things about Presidential elections.

 

 

Nov 07, 2016
The Real Story of the 1948 Election
54:06

Was it a comeback, really, or did the polls just get what was going on wrong.  Days before the 2016 election, we looked at this question.

Nov 01, 2016
The History of Vice Presidential Debates
26:06

From the first VP debate in 1976 to now, a look at the No. 2's and how their one big campaign moment can change things, or not.

Oct 14, 2016
Navy Blue Nixon and Other Stories
22:12

The history of 2nd debates in American History.  Often this is where the action happens. In 1960, it changed the election campaign even if no one noticed.  

Oct 13, 2016
All That Stuff That Happens Before the Debate
31:33

From negotiations, to locations, to dress - everything in a Presidential debate matters.  Why wouldn't it, when it was felt by many that the first debate ever was won on style points.  

Oct 06, 2016
1884: A Very Unpleasant Election - Cleveland vs. Blaine
33:20

Two candidates.  Both disliked by their parties.  Not loved by voters.  One maybe slightly better than the other.  Until a scandal breaks, making the election a squeaker.  

Oct 02, 2016
5 Factors for Trump, 5 Factors for Clinton
29:22

Looking at historical trends for both sides of the election, Bruce finds five for Hillary, but also five for Trump and tells a story about how Coolidge didn't like Hoover so much.

Oct 01, 2016
Walter Jenkins and the 1964 Election
29:44

The October Surprise scandal that could have been, but almost brought down LBJ.  What it says about history and today. 

Sep 29, 2016
From Dump the Hump to Near Victory: The Final Days of 1968
19:40

The wild last days of one of the closest elections ever.  

Sep 15, 2016
Concession
17:09

The final speech of a candidate throughout history.  It's usually a smooth process, but sometimes there's a story.  

Sep 14, 2016
White House on Fire: Iran-Contra – A Dozen Ronald Reagans – Part Eight
44:40

In the eight part of our series on the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, we look at the scandal that engulfed his administration, and management style mistakes that may have led to it.  In the course of doing this we peel back a few layers, including the Walsh investigation and the critical, laid-back investigation style of […]

Sep 12, 2016
Reformation - Tax Reform , Immigration A Dozen Ronald Reagans - Part Seven
46:07

Reagan is not often seen as a reformer but in many cases, there were massive shifts on domestic policy in the 1980s and not all of them were to the standard political right.  Strange bedfellows Bill Bradley and Ronald Reagan work together to achieve something that hasn't been done since.  Also an incredible failure that could paint the economic picture of the Reagan years.

Sep 10, 2016
Hands Across America - A Dozen Ronald Reagans Part Six
42:40

Homelessness, education, healthcare and other domestic issues under constant evaluation during the time of the Reagan Presidency.  We look at the personal Ronald Reagan and the contention of critics that his policies didn't match the person.  We look at first term and second term policy differences on homelessness, and the contention by supporters that homelessness was focused on by media in the 80's but not during other Presidencies.  Finally, we look at Reagan's response to AIDS.  

Sep 09, 2016
1976 Convention: A Dozen Ronald Reagans - Part Five
38:48

Reagan Battles Ford for the GOP Nomination

Sep 09, 2016
A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part Four - Witches' Brew
01:25:59

James Baker called Reagan's foreign policy a witches brew.    In one country, a longshot try for peace.  In others, alliances with warmakers.  In one country, an invasion, others aversion to invade.   In one country, an odd combo of labor unions, the Catholic church and the CIA led to a successful result, in others people suffered.    And finally the GOP's staunchest anti-communists completes the approval of trade with Red China.   Reagan's policy towards seven nations - El Salvador, Lebanon, Poland, Nicaragua, China, Grenada and Guatemala examined in this episode.

Sep 08, 2016
A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part Three - Rubik's Cube
01:04:01

We seek to solve two puzzles:  How did Reagan the Truman booster become Reagan the Goldwater acolyte?   And when he entered politics, became GOP nominee and President, what were the economic results of his Presidency?  Also, Reagan and the KAL007 incident that reveals a bit about his personality and approach.

Sep 07, 2016
A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part Two - A Taxing Second Year
49:57

Reagan's second year was much harder than the first - a look at 1982 and the compromises Reagan had to make, a midterm election and more.

Sep 06, 2016
A Dozen Ronald Reagans: Part One - Rawhide is OK
57:22

First in our series on Ronald Reagan that will have twelve episodes.  The Presidency we discuss almost didn't happen.  A look at the attempt on Reagan's life, his first year and why the shooting was not an unimportant incident of his Presidency but directly connected to his performance in the first year.  We also go over the Dozen Ronald Reagans Concept - that there are twelve different aspects to him to examine both in reality and in the perception of Reagan in political debates.

Sep 05, 2016
The Five Biggest Fibs in American Politics - Book Available
10:55

Readings from Bruce's New Book, The Five Biggest Fibs in American Politics

Sep 04, 2016
Bob Seeger and the Steelworker - Manufacturing vs. Service in Political Debates
15:26

The debate rages over how to bring our factories back in the United States and in 2016, it crossed parties to the Republican side as well as the Democratic party side.  We look at the issues behind this debate. 

Aug 02, 2016
Top 10 Worst VP Picks in History
40:33

Usually a choice at the top of the ticket helps.  But sometimes it doesn't.  Bruce goes into his  Top 10 Worst VP Picks.  

Jul 31, 2016
Rottenborough Delegates
20:32

Delegates to a party from a state that the party wont carry in an election.  (Vermont for today's Republicans, Alabama for today's Democrats).  Should they have an influence on party nominations.  This question is as old as at least 1860, and it helped Trump as much as it helped Lincoln a bit. 

Jul 07, 2016
1840 -Clowns With Pink Noses and Lofty Tumbling
09:56

Story of the zany election in 1840 which some felt was to "Pop" for its time.

Jul 07, 2016
How Jimmy Carter Lost the Campaign and Won the Election
16:50

The Story of Jimmy Carter's 1976 Campaign and how a primary candidate genius faced a real difficult fall. 

Jul 06, 2016
A Little Story About 1824
36:22

A Surprise populist candidate excites the electorate, and the attacks go back and forth.  He almost upsets a Secretary of State that is well in the Washington establishment.

Jul 02, 2016
Why is the GOP Convention First, Democrats Second, Brexit Other Topics.
27:37

Convention scheduling, and the reasons for it.

Jun 16, 2016
Bruce Carlson Interviewed on DWATG Cast - Trump VP, Conventions, If Biden Had Run, and More
57:57

Interview with the Don't Worry About the Government Cast from May 2016

May 25, 2016
The First Presidential Farewell
19:16

As President Obama offers his farewell commentary, a look at our 2012 cast on George Washington‘s Farewell Address and a few other timely thoughts. http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com/farewell.mp3

May 11, 2016
The History of Cinco De Mayo
04:49

Not just a holiday.  We go to post-Civil War Mexico and find out the true story of a significant battle.  

May 05, 2016
JFK and The Story Behind the Berlin Speech - And Other Stories
31:14

A mixed episode, what we call a 'hodge-podcast' of listener questions

Mar 17, 2016
Madison Can't Get a Seat at the Starbucks, and How to Read a Constitution
32:22

How James Madison and Alexander Hamilton interpreted the Constitution, from a 2012 episode.

Mar 09, 2016
The Fib That Your Side is Going to Win
01:23:41

From 1812 to today, a lesson:  Neither side will win.  Your'e side probably won't win, not for long, per this episode.  It was recorded before 2016, and still I think it applies.  

Mar 09, 2016
South Carolina Primary History - Helping Ronald, Helping Ourselves
15:22

The story of the South Carolina primary is linked to Reagan's election as President, and a switch in its convention system to aid the conservative candidate from his only significant threat in the primary process.    

Feb 16, 2016
Huey Long and Trump, Vetoes, and Other Stories
30:57

Bruce gives his best imitation of a PBS telethon and reveals a special offer for donors. Also Huey Long visits the show (well you know, not really) a discussion of vetoes and the naming of wars...and because not even MHCBUYP can avoid it, we talk about Trump...and the Kingfish.

 

Jan 19, 2016
Of Vice and Men
01:01:01

Everything about Vice Presidents running for President, why the office was almost eliminated after an election, a little about me, more about Nixon and Kissinger and a What If about the 1976 election.

Nov 23, 2015
Damned Fool Mistake: Eisenhower's Real Feelings About the Supreme Court
16:53

We look at the famous - darn fool mistake comment.

Oct 21, 2015
The Man Who Saved Boston But Never Got Credit, Also - the Last Lincoln?
32:49

A bit about Cotton Mather and the unknown man held in slavery to him (for a time) who saved Bostonians from smallpox.

The story is an odd mixture of religiousity and science.  Since vaccines could not be proven for years to come, it took a man of faith to spread the word that they were a good thing.

Also, the Year of 13 Candidates.  A Supreme Court plaintiff that wanted to lose.  The very small Lincoln family tree (though that's controversial)

And more, in this hodge-podcast.

Oct 15, 2015
Your TV Dinner Is Served -Mad Man Finale, 1980 Election and Many Other Side Dishes
48:48

The 1980 GOP primary, a year with a large field of candidates- larger than remembered - makes up Your Tasty Entree in this delicious podcast of TV history and politics.  Also the series finale of Mad Men and how it links to historical discussion.  Call this Your Starch Dish.  For Your Veggies, a discussion of the 13 other prominent British Colonies that didn't rebel, and why.  Finally for Your Dessert Pie, a discussion of the plot of House of Cards and its plausibility regarding the resignation of a VP based on history.   It's a hodge-podcast that you'll enjoy, so get your tray table ready.

May 20, 2015
It's Not Common to Be Unconstitutional
10:52

The rareness of SCOTUS actually finding laws of Congress unconstitutional might surprise some, though it does act in big ways when it feels it hast to.  That and SCOTUS judges who have surprised Presidents.  

May 13, 2015
The Craziest Speaker Election Ever and Other Ephemra
52:33

There have been some pretty interesting elections for Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States, but only one where the Congressional Mace had to be pulled out in order to be used as a potential weapon.  We go over the 1849 election, as well as some other past speaker elections.  We look at the question: Could a coalition of party members elect their own speaker.  While technically possible, it simply hasn't happened since 1855.

What about the 1976 election?  Carter's win was so close.  Many people said the Nixon pardon affected their vote?  We discuss some other factors, including Reagan's primary challenge, Carter's electoral strengths and inflation to come to a conclusion that the White House was going Democrat in 1976 in any case, unless the memory of Watergate could be removed from voters' memory.  Of course Democrats would only hold the White House for four years, before inflation among other factors would kick them out.

Apr 08, 2015
Social Security Had Its Glitches Too
28:17

In the wake of Obamacare problems, we look at the frustrations of those attempting to implement Social Security.  The first consultant told Congress to drop the idea.  When they refused, an incredible system was developed in the Pre Computer Age. 

Dec 25, 2014
Social Security, Civil War Pensions
36:56

While Social Security was developed in the 1930's, it's possible to say that there were always some mechanisms for older persons, though not universal ones. 

Mar 16, 2010
Why Cant We Lean on a Shovel?
42:39

Would a WPA style program work in modern times?

Mar 16, 2010
An Historic Election, for Many Reasons
31:21

About the 2008 Election

Mar 02, 2010