The Podcast: Author Jonathan Alter gives his Biden-Harris prognosis

The Podcast

The Podcast: Author Jonathan Alter gives his Biden-Harris prognosis

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What to expect when you’re expecting a Biden-Harris administration? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts

Will Biden be able to enact climate legislation with a Republican Senate? Can the new administration win over radical progressives? Award-wining author, historian and Biden expert Jonathan Alter discusses the opportunities and challenges of the next four years. Also: Jared argues that the death of American political decency may actually indicate the healing of America itself. (Interview begins at minute 1:42. Commentary at 14:28.)

In this episode:

  • We begin with a plug for our Climate&Capital post-election roundup, featuring takes from members of our team. Read them here and let us know what you think.
  • Next, Jonathan Author joins us once again, this time to discuss a future president. He says Biden’s long experience and strong relationships on the Hill could help him overcome a Republican Senate and enact real change in the next four years. COVID-18 economic stimulus measures may present an opportunity to subsidize green energy, as did Obama’s 2008 stimulus bill. But another challenge for Biden may be overcoming the progressives’ “purity test” and convincing them that “half a loaf is better than no loaf.”
  • After that, Jared plays clips of and gets nostalgic about John McCain’s 2008 concession speech. He laments Trump killing basic standards political decency, but argues that it might be an indication of healing in America. People abandon decorum when they feel desperate and mistrustful of the establishment, and Trump’s base tolerates his vitriol because they sense a change in the status quo — and it scares them.

Written by

Jared Downing

Jared Downing is managing editor of Climate & Capital Media. Before Climate&Capital, he spent five years in Yangon, Myanmar, producing the human rights podcast Doh Athan and producing features, columns, and cartoons for Frontier Myanmar, that country's leading English language magazine. Prior to that, he was a freelance writer in Birmingham Alabama, focusing on city culture and social justice.