Political Theater

A weekly News, Politics and Government podcast
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Episodes of Political Theater

This week, the House and Senate were both in session for the first time since before Memorial Day, and it feels like Spring Fever, with pandemic precautions mostly being cast aside. CQ Roll Call Staff Writer Jim Saksa has been there for the mos
For a small state, West Virginia has outsize political influence. The Mountain State's two senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, are in the middle of the biggest debates on the congressional and White House agenda.
The United States and Russia have a tense political relationship, which will be on display later this month when President Joe Biden has called Russian leader Vladimir Putin meet for a summit. But the two countries don't have to look to far in
This week marked the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, a year defined by a subsequent international reckoning on racial justice, a debate about overhauling police departments and an election tha
Few political issues are as polarizing as abortion, and now abortion opponents are on the cusp of a potentially epic win after decades of incremental gains. History professor Jennifer L. Holland discusses the politics of abortion rights, which
When we started this podcast in January 2018, we were not thinking about whether it would make it to 200 episodes. Then again, we didn’t think we get reprimanded by Werner Herzog, either. So, borrowing from the “How it Started, How it’s going”
Heading into the 2022 midterm elections, history and redistricting favor House Republicans. But even with built-in advantages, there are some wild cards to consider, particularly former President Donald Trump’s effect and some internal party dr
Mark McKinnon, long-time political adviser and current co-host of the Showtime political documentary series The Circus joins Political Theater to discuss President Joe Biden’s approach to the art of the possible, the president's move from trans
Jaime Harrison gained national attention last year when he broke fundraising records running against South Carolina incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham. While Harrison didn't win the election, his candidacy gave notice that the Old South is now th
It's no secret that in the corridors of power there is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party. While Joe Biden won the presidency, there certainly wasn't a blue wave. Moreover, House Democrats lost seats, and while they hold a slim-maj
The United States is amid a period of self-reflection and contentious debate on race relations and President Joe Biden is leaning into it. Rashawn Ray, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and sociology professor at the University of Maryland
Rep. Mike Johnson is emblematic of the Republican Party of which he is now, in his third House term, and a leading member. He joined fellow Republicans in January in backing the former president's campaign to overturn state election results. Mo
Unified control of the White House and Congress does not happen all that often. We are in one of those periods now, with President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats in the majority in the House and Senate. And they are pursuing policy like the
This week marks the 11th anniversary of Barack Obama’s signing of the Affordable Care Act, something Joe Biden, then the vice president, now the president, famously described as a “Big F-ing Deal.” He was right. It is one of the signature momen
Native Americans have long had a contentious relationship with the Interior Department. Now one of their own is at the helm of it, Deb Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna. It was only in 2018 that the New Mexico Democrat made hi
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Political Theater takes stock of the changes in Congress and how it operates, which of those will be lasting, which are fleeting, and what are some of the lingering uncertainties of political life as lawmake
Look no further than Congress to hear gripes about gridlock and the lack of bipartisanship. But based on whom the voters are sending to Washington, it’s not a big shock: Barely a statistically significant number of members of Congress represent
It’s been a busy few years for Rep. Madeleine Dean, the Pennsylvania Democrat elected to the House in 2018. The lawyer and professor was part of a historic wave of women elected who put the chamber back in Democratic control. She wrote a book w
Despite the high drama and hard feelings associated with the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, it’s unclear it will have an effect on the political coin of the realm: The next election. Senior politics correspondent Bri
Showtime’s political documentary series “The Circus” wants to capture, in the words of co-host John Heilemann, the “big, giant chaotic, nightmarish stew” of our politics. At Political Theater, we’re pretty down with that. Heilemann and co-host
Amid a pandemic, an impeachment trial, an economic crisis and the fallout over the Jan. 6 armed attack on the Capitol, Congress is trying to figure out how much enhanced security, and in what form, is necessary to protect lawmakers, staff and e
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris discusses his latest movie, "My Psychedelic Love Story," history as chaos, whether Donald Trump believes his own lies, the power of first person narrative and whether any of us can ever be reliable narrators.
The presidency of Donald Trump is over. The presidency of Joe Biden has started. The inauguration happened -- against all odds, is how one staffer succintly put it. Despite a pandemic, an attack on the Capitol, unprecedented security and uncert
Presidential inauguration historian Jim Bendat discusses the unprecedented preparations of Wednesday's inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, from the unnerving amount of security in the wake of the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol to Donal
As Washington gears up to host the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States next week, the country is on edge. After the insurrection on January 6 on the Capitol and lawmakers, security officials are leaving nothing to chance. Th
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