Author: Allison Seigler
This week’s episode of Left, Right and Center was a special live episode for the midterms. Josh Barro was the host and center, Rich Lowry was the voice on the right, and Ana Marie Cox was the voice on the left. Special guests included Steve Kornacki, Astead Herndon, Olivia Nuzzi, and Jonathan Chait. The episode focused mainly on the results of the 2018 midterm election while also addressing the firing of Jeff Sessions.
The commentators talked about how this election was a battle of the suburbs. Most of the Democrats’ gained seats came from suburban districts that voted for Hillary in 2016. While these districts voted for Hillary, they still were satisfied with their Republican House representative and left him or her in power. In this election, those districts were so mad at Trump and dissatisfied with his party that they voted their previously unproblematic Republican representatives out of office. The election also showed the deepening of political divides in America. Now, most people have a very strong opinion either for or against President Trump; there are not a lot of people who have neutral opinions on him.
Democrats were also successful because they tailored their candidates’ ideologies more to each district. There was no one Democrat ideology in this election, as candidates’ views varied widely depending on where they were running. The commentators also debated whether Texas is actually getting bluer. Many seemed to think it was not, and this year’s election was just so close because nobody likes Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke is so charismatic.
The group also briefly talked about Jeff Sessions leaving his position, and what this means for the Russia investigation. They seemed to believe that Mueller’s investigation can’t really be stopped at this point, and the move just looks bad for Trump. If Mueller and the Special Counsel are disbanded, the conservative commentator believed that Mueller would just bring his findings to Congress, who would authorize another investigation.
I really like this podcast because it purposefully brings many different viewpoints to the same table to talk about current political issues. None of the commentators hold very extreme views, which makes debate easier. It’s very refreshing to see people who may disagree on basic principles talk calmly and productively about current events. That being said, the show is definitely not the most exciting or engaging podcasts, so a prior interest in current events and politics is critical to enjoying the content of the podcast. This episode added a lot of cool insight into the results of the midterms and what they mean.