309 episodes

Have you ever asked, “WTF?,” about politics? Or, “who are these people making decisions about my life?” Political Theater pulls back the curtain on the stunts, antics and motivations that drive Washington. Host Jason Dick and the Roll Call team spotlight the spectacle, the players and what’s going on behind the curtain in Washington’s long-running drama: Congress.

Political Theater CQ Roll Call​

    • News
    • 4.6 • 38 Ratings

Have you ever asked, “WTF?,” about politics? Or, “who are these people making decisions about my life?” Political Theater pulls back the curtain on the stunts, antics and motivations that drive Washington. Host Jason Dick and the Roll Call team spotlight the spectacle, the players and what’s going on behind the curtain in Washington’s long-running drama: Congress.

    The Circus’ comes back to (this) town

    The Circus’ comes back to (this) town

    The Circus is back in town. At least Showtime’s political documentary series "The Circus" is back, resuming its sixth season this past Sunday. And the show has no shortage of topics to explore. Just in the coming weeks Congress is staring at a possible government shutdown, a debt limit breach, the fate of President Joe Biden’s agenda, fighting the COVID-19 Delta variant. And more! Two of the show’s hosts, Mark McKinnon and Jennifer Palmieri join the Political Theater podcast to discuss what they’ll be up to amid these crazy times.
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    • 26 min
    Can Congress stay bipartisan on Olympic oversight?

    Can Congress stay bipartisan on Olympic oversight?

    Congress is deeply split, but not when it comes to the Olympics. Former U.S. women's national gymnastics’ team doctor Larry Nassar’s serial sexual abuse of female gymnasts provoked bipartisan action to toughen oversight of the Olympics organizing committee and amateur athletics. But there are still unanswered questions about Nassar and how this happened. CQ Roll Call Chief Correspondent Niels Lesniewski discusses what happened in Congress to address the situation and what lawmakers and the Justice Department could still do.
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    • 18 min
    'Detainee 001’ and the untold story of the American Taliban, John Walker Lindh

    'Detainee 001’ and the untold story of the American Taliban, John Walker Lindh

    Filmmaker Greg Barker’s new documentary, “Detainee 001” comes at a turning point in U.S history and its timing could not be more ideal. The story of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” makes for a poignant narrative as the United States stands on the cusp of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and has ended its war in Afghanistan. Barker discusses the Taliban, Afghanistan and the bizarre story of John Walker Lindh on this week’s episode of the Political Theater podcast.
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    • 26 min
    Was the sad, messy end in Afghanistan inevitable?

    Was the sad, messy end in Afghanistan inevitable?

    President Joe Biden this week declared that the longest war in U.S. history was over, and that after evacuating thousands of Americans and Afghan allies, there was no vital national security interest that justified staying in Afghanistan. But after 20 years, the withdrawal of troops and civilians this summer was messy, and deadly. CQ Roll Call Senior Defense Writer John Donnelly, joins us to discuss how much of it was standard operating procedure and a lack of good options for the U.S. mission there.
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    • 26 min
    The politics of public health

    The politics of public health

    Health inequities between different racial and ethnic groups existed well before COVID-19, but the pandemic has revealed just how stark the disparities are. Throw in the politicization of science, and the United States has a big mountain to climb to conquer the virus. Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and former health commissioner of Baltimore sits down with guest host Sandhya Raman to unpack where we are and what can be done.
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    • 23 min
    Everything you wanted to know about Title 42 but didn't know to ask

    Everything you wanted to know about Title 42 but didn't know to ask

    A little known public-health directive, Title 42, allows border agents to swiftly “expel” migrants who cross the border —without considering their asylum claims. It was implemented in March 2020 as COVID-19 cases spread across the U.S. This expulsion policy was criticized by presidential candidate Joe Biden, but President Biden has embraced it. At least for now. Special host Suzanne Monyak unpacks the politics of this thorny immigration policy with Cris Ramón, an independent immigration consultant.
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    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

andydbaxter ,

Great for politics nerds!

I thoroughly enjoy the cheerful and neutral approach that this podcast usually takes in analyzing the spectacle of politics. The specific theme allows concentration on fun and interesting stories that are often otherwise overlooked. Great for politics nerds!

Also, I have tremendous respect for the reporters’ recent coverage of the invasion of the Capitol. The podcast on the following day was extremely insightful into the events that occurred and the potential next steps. More than anyone else, these reporters were the ones that I looked to in order to make sense of the situation, both during and after, because they are true experts and professionals in their field and have therefore earned my trust.

Nbee2 ,

always timely and enjoyable

great quick hit podcast that brings together timely political news with cultural insights

Hill Staffer ,

Hill Staffer

Audio is terrible and is what holds this podcast back

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