Wednesday, guest host Thad Hall takes a look at the future of the GOP. Since President Barack Obama's election, the Republican Party has gone from down-and-out to resurgent. Republicans are dominating the money race and they seem to have momentum. There are signs of possible rocky roads ahead though: rapid growth in the Latino population, shifting attitudes on social issues and the politics of austerity could again reverse the party's fortunes. We'll look at the trends and ask what they could mean for politics in America.
<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/5985153020/">DonkeyHotey</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>
The journalist and legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen says that the defining test of Chief Justice John Roberts's leadership is to avoid partisan polarization on the US Supreme Court. No test of that leadership could be more crucial than the Court’s forthcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act. Much is at stake: Roberts's legacy as Chief Justice, the future of American healthcare, and possibly a presidential race. Rosen joins us on Wednesday to examine the Roberts court and the ramifications of its defining decision.
Though as old as America itself, the American dream wasn’t actually christened until the Great Depression. And now it stands on shaky ground in the wake of the Great Recession. With the gap between rich and poor wider than ever, the dream of freedom and equal opportunity is increasingly out of reach. This summer, NPR is producing a series of stories about the American dream, and NPR reporters Ari Shapiro and John Ydstie join Doug on Wednesday to take the dream’s pulse in the 21st century.
The oil and natural gas fields of the rural West -- from North Dakota to Wyoming to Colorado and Utah -- have produced thousands of jobs and brought great prosperity to communities and families alike. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Energy development has also brought ill consequences: high crime, drugs, adverse health conditions, poor air quality and environmental degradation. Tuesday on RadioWest we’ll discuss the social and cultural effects, both positive and negative, of energy development in the rural West.
For those trying to make sense of dysfunction in US politics, historian Nancy Cohen has an answer: sex. Cohen argues that a 40-year backlash against the sexual revolution is at the heart of our current political wars, and she’s not just blaming Republican men. She says that Democrats are complicit and that women have been ardent champions of what she calls the counterrevolution. Monday, she’ll take us through the modern history of gender politics and explain what it means for the 2012 election.
Thursday on RadioWest we're hosting a panel discussion about Utah's recent political caucuses. There's evidence that caucus delegates were more moderate this time around, and that they value experience more than in years past. That may explain why Sen. Orrin Hatch survived the caucus, only to face his first primary since 1976. We'll also talk about the coming congressional race between Rep. Jim Matheson and Republican nominee Mia Love, and what Democrats are doing to woo Utah's Mormon voters.
Wednesday, we continue our Through the Lens film series with the powerful documentary "The Day My God Died." It tells the story of young girls abducted from their villages in Asia and sold into the child sex trade. Anuradha Koirala, the acclaimed activist who battles the sexual exploitation of women and children will be among our guests. Then we'll screen the film at 7:00 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.
Credit <i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebusybrain/3396284969/">Mike Johnson - TheBusyBrain.com</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>
In Eisenhower's farewell address, he warned about a growing dependency between America's military and its industrial base. Some benefits have emerged from the "military-industrial complex" like cell phones and the Internet, but it's also provoked questions like "does our massive military establishment really make us safer?" Journalist James Ledbetter has written a book that explores the origins and effects of the military's role in our economy and he joins Doug to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)
With oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act complete, now comes the wait for the Supreme Court decision expected this summer. Some observers think the justices' tough questions mean defeat for the White House. But can you predict an outcome based on justices' behavior? Scholar Timothy Johnson has analyzed thousands of cases, and he's developed a model to do just that. Monday he joins us to explain what this historic case can teach us about how the Supreme Court works.
Credit <i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/6261650491/">DonkeyHotey</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>
Thursday, we're talking about the death of centrism in American politics. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe recently announced her retirement, citing her disgust with the "my way or the highway ideologies" in Washington these days. But she's just the latest casualty of an ever-increasing polarization of the political parties. John Farrell of National Journal and John Avlon of The Daily Beast join us to explain how we've gotten to this point and what it means for the way government works.