Every weekday, The New Republic’s Greg Sargent brings you a fresh way of thinking about the biggest political stories of the moment, offered up in an entertaining, information-packed conversation with a leading lawmaker, journalist, or newsmaker. We go deep into the stories behind the headlines leading TNR and other news outlets—while making it fun and fast.
The Daily Blast - Finally, Democrats have defeated one of the worst gerrymanders of all
This week, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed a new set of maps for legislative districts in the state—an important and overlooked victory that came after a long struggle dating back well over a decade. We talked to Greta Neubauer, the 32-year-old Minority Leader of Wisconsin Assembly Democrats, who explained what Democrats did to prevail, why this was such a significant achievement, and how it shows that reviving democracy is a grueling game of inches.
Trump’s Devastating $355 Million Penalty Blows Up His Biggest Lie
The stunning news that Donald Trump has been hit by a $355 million penalty in his civil fraud case in New York deals a big blow to his mystique as master of “the deal.” But Justice Arthur Engoron’s ruling also exposes a deeper undercurrent of scamming that Trump has been surfing on for decades and hopes to ride right back into the White House. We chatted with journalist David Cay Johnston, author of a new piece in The New Republic about the ruling, who helped us plumb the depths of the dark ethos of grift that has driven Trump throughout his career.
How Trump Iced Ronna McDaniel, Signaling Big Trouble for the MAGA-GOP
This week, Donald Trump announced that he wants Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel replaced with a loyalist: Michael Whatley, the head of the North Carolina Republican Party. Behind the jockeying looms a very big story: The Trump-MAGA takeover of the GOP, and the challenges the party faces as it nominates someone facing multiple criminal indictments. We talked to Marc Caputo, a reporter for The Bulwark and author of a great new piece on McDaniel’s ouster, who helped us unravel the mysteries of GOP politics in the MAGA era.
Shocker: A Big Win for Dems Flips the Script on Trump’s Favorite Issue
Earlier this week, Democrats executed a remarkable 8-point win in a special House election in suburban Long Island, a race that was all about immigration. Republicans ran millions of dollars in ads on the issue, yet Democrat Tom Suozzi prevailed, flipping the seat of disgraced Republican George Santos. What on earth really happened here? We talked to Mike Bocian, the chief Democratic pollster on this race, who offered a fascinating and detailed glimpse into how his party pulled it off.
The Ugly Truth Behind Mike Johnson’s MAGA-fied Blockade on Ukraine Aid
On Tuesday, in a decisive 70 to 29 vote, the Senate passed a mammoth bill containing $60 billion for Ukraine’s self defense against Russian aggression, as well as $14 billion for Israel. Yet House Speaker Mike Johnson is vowing that the House won’t vote on the measure, in part because MAGA hard-liners are raging against it. We talked to Democratic Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado about what’s really driving the opposition, how Democrats can try to get around it with a “discharge petition,” and whether there’s a genuine pro-Putin faction in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Why Democratic Elites are “Shaken to their Core” about Trump and Biden
This week, the freakout among Democrats about President Biden reached its shrillest pitch yet, after a special counsel report exonerated Biden but included combustible claims about Biden’s mental capacities. While many Democrats redoubled calls for the party to entertain alternatives to nominating Biden, confusion and disagreement reigns among them about what precisely to take away from this moment. We talked to Brian Beutler, who regularly criticizes the Democratic Party’s approach to politics on his “Off Message” Substack, to sort through all the noise.
More of Greg Sargent
Greg Sargent is simply one of the best journalists anywhere. His work is focused on truth & transparency in service of democracy, it doesn’t get more important than that. This podcast opens up an important new platform for sharing his critical work, & the work of his guests, out into the public square.
Sargent as Podcaster Has Room for Improvement
Sargent is a terrific journalist. I enjoyed reading him before his unceremonious dismissal from the Washington Post (along with more than a one hundred of his gifted colleagues).
He is, however, a mediocre podcast host. The problem lies with his delivery. The experience of listening to him borders on tedium. I believe he could improve quite a lot—and boost both the podcast’s listenership and ratings—were he to spend some time with a vocal coach, someone who would help him to speak in a more expressive, conversational, and non-monotonous manner. And if he did that? It would be great for the podcast and for TNR and, yes, for America!
One of my new daily favorites!
I was so sad to hear that Greg Sargent was leaving the Washington Post but turns out it was a great move. Now I get to hear him have conversations about relevant topics with people who know what they’re talking about and I will definitely listen daily!