We’re Damir Marusic and Shadi Hamid. We live in Washington DC and have been friends for a while. One of us works at a magazine, another thinks in a tank. The idea behind the podcast is to try out ideas in the hope of getting considered push-back—in real-time. We talk politics, ideas, culture, and current events. Civil discussion, maybe even a bit odd. But hopefully fun.
Was Trump's Foreign Policy As Bad As We Think?
David Adesnik of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies joins the show to discuss Trump's foreign policy legacy and how much Biden's will differ. David also talks about his evolution from liberal Democrat to neoconservative, Shadi presses him on the Abraham Accords, and Damir reveals the problem with popular conceptions of "progress."
Who Are the Real Realists?
Was Barack Obama America's last "realist" president? Was he even a realist at all? Emma Ashford of the Atlantic Council joins the show to answer these questions and more. They also discuss democracy promotion, whether to confront China, and why Shadi supported Bernie's candidacy even though Shadi is an interventionist.
The Sources of Our Discontent
What is driving our current political upheaval? Shadi and Damir discuss a few different theories including the decline of religion, the absence of an aristocracy, and, crucially, modern America's obsession with dogs.
How Big is the White Supremacist Threat?
New York Times justice reporter Katie Benner joins the show to talk about January 6, the FBI and DOJ response, the limits of 9/11 comparisons, and if the threat posed by right-wing militias is overstated.
The Game Stops Now
Shadi regrets not investing in GameStop. Damir thinks that once you say democracy must be saved from the masses, protecting Wall Street from the retail-investing crowds is the next logical step. Finally, does Shadi still consider himself a progressive?
Fantasy and Reality in Biden's America
Hours into the Biden administration, Shadi and Damir sit down with author Bruno Maçães to talk about Trump, January 6, the future of world order, and the sources of American exceptionalism.