February 1 - Time For Democrats to Play Hardball; Withholding Consent Until the Trump-Putin Ties Are Fully Investigated; Steve Bannon's Takeover of National Security Policy

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Part 1

We begin with the call by a former deputy chief of staff to Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, for the Democrats to hold the new minority president accountable and to play hardball. We begin with Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public policy at Princeton University who is the author of “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society”, and discuss his article at CNN “What Democrats Should Learn From Republicans”. We assess President Trump’s advice that Senate Republicans should use the nuclear option to get rid of the filibuster if Democrats filibuster his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. And, with a radical Republican agenda underway threatening transformative changes, will the Democrats borrow from the Republican obstructionist tactics of shutdowns, fiscal cliffs, financial chaos and procedural warfare to stop an unpopular and divisive president and his unqualified cabinet by playing hardball?

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Part 2

Then we speak with a 21 year veteran of the US Senate Jim Manley, who served as senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for six years and before that 12 years as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He joins us to discuss his former colleague’s call for the Democrats to play hardball and offers his insight into whether, because of the cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over the president as investigations into how much Vladimir Putin helped elect Trump continues, the tactic of withholding consent is a viable strategy until a credible investigation either indicts or clears Trump.

Jim Manley

Part 3

Then finally we investigate the takeover of national security policy and process by the Trump Administration’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who appears to have accrued so much power so quickly that he is being seen as the de facto President of the United States. Kate Brannen, the deputy managing editor of Just Security and a nonresident fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at The Atlantic Council, joins us to discuss her article at Foreign Policy “Steve Bannon is Making Sure There’s No White House Paper Trail, Says Intel Source”. 

Brannen Kate

 

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